Our 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

Published 3 years ago by , Updated January 17th, 2012 at 1:31 pm, This is a list post.

Screen Rant's 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

Most Anticipated Movies of 20122011 had its share of disappointing movies, but among the good we had our favorites and it's not dampening our spirits as we look forward to 2012 - where again, there are more major films releasing than there are weeks in the year.From comic book, sci-fi and fantasy epics, to prequels, sequels and reboots, many of film's iconic characters and actors make their way to the big screen again this year, and have earned their place among Screen Rant's most anticipated movies of 2012.

20. Jack the Giant Killer

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Jack the Giant KillerRelease Date: June 15, 2012 Director: Bryan Singer Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci, Eleanor TomlinsonThe first Jack the Giant Killer trailer showcases an epic fantasy adventure based on the classic fairy tale, in which Jack (Hoult) unwittingly grows a beanstalk to the land of the vengeful Giants, where he must venture to rescue a princess (Tomlinson).With Singer at the helm for his first go at the fantasy genre, and a strong cast in his hands, it's hard not to find intrigue in the movie that pulled him out of directing X-Men: First Class.

19. G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - G.I. Joe 2: RetaliationRelease Date: June 29, 2012 Director: Jon M. Chu Cast: Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Ray Park, Byung-hun Lee, Adrianne Palicki, Bruce Willis, Ray Stevenson A director change, combined with a clean-sweep of the cast from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, gives Paramount Pictures what amounts to a quasi-reboot of the action-packed franchise based on the popular Hasbro toy line. With Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson taking the spotlight and a clear emphasis on grittier, harsher action, we hope Retaliation improves on the good parts of its predecessor. The sequel follows the remaining Joes working off the grid to overthrow Cobra Commander and his plans of world domination.

18. Wettest County

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Wettest CountyRelease Date: August 31, 2012 Director: John Hillcoat Cast: Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Mia WasikowskaThe man behind the adaptation of  author Cormac McCarthy's bestselling novel The Road  heads to the Old West with an all-star cast for Wettest County, a crime-thriller about three brothers and their bootlegging gang  forced into violent action when their moonshine operation becomes threatened. It's based on the novel by Matt Bondurant, which in turn is based on his grandfather and great-uncles.The under-the-radar film has undergone a pair of name changes and a production halt due to financing, before switching studios and being picked up for distribution. We're riding the Tom Hardy train high and have strong expectations from Hillcoat and this talented cast.

17. Haywire

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - HaywireRelease Date: January 20, 2012 Director: Steven Soderbergh Cast: Gina Carano, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Bill PaxtonAfter bringing together an impressive cast for Contagion, Soderbergh assembles another impressive ensemble for Haywire, an action-thriller about a Black Ops elite soldier named Mallory Kane (Carano) who takes on the missions that governments pretend don't exist. While on assignment in Ireland, Kane is double-crossed and the situation for her and her family goes... haywire.There's no doubt in Carano's martial arts abilities giving the film credible action sequences - as evidenced in the Haywire trailer - our only concern is the film's plot being too standard.

16. Gangster Squad

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Gangster SquadRelease Date: October 19, 2012 Director: Ruben Fleischer Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Pence, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi, Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick, Michael PeñaRuben Fleischer steps away from comedy (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less) to offer a serious take on the mafia presence in 1940s Los Angeles. With the cast involved and an interesting premise about the LAPD doing their best to keep East Coast gangsters out of LA, we can only hope Gangster Squad delivers on its promise.

15. World War Z

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - World War ZRelease Date: December 21, 2012 Director: Marc Forster Cast: Brad Pitt, Eric West, Matthew Fox, David Morse, James Badge Dale, Mireille EnosBased on Max Brooks' best-selling novel but offering a radical departure from its style for the film adaptation, World War Z (the movie) follows a  UN official (Pitt) as he travels around the world attempting to stop the zombie pandemic from destroying the world. While we were hoping for a documentary style collection of first-person recountings from survivors of the zombie outbreak, more in line with the style of the novel, we're still hopeful that Forster's take on the material will be something unlike any other zombie movie.Brad Pitt's production company eagerly won the film rights to the property and Pitt himself stars, in what Paramount Pictures hopes is the beginning of a World War Z trilogy.World War Z fan poster from Movie Cultists.

14. Lincoln

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Lincoln SpielbergRelease Date: December, 2012 Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Tommy Lee Jones James Spader, Jackie Earle Haley, Sally Field, John Hawkes, Walton GogginsSpielberg's had his eye on this historic biopic about President Abraham Lincoln for a decade, ever since acquiring the rights to Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography. Liam Neeson was previously cast as Honest Abe, where he did extensive research to prepare for the part before eventually dropping out and paving the way for two-time Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis and an all-star supporting cast.With Spielberg's War Horse debuting as Oscar bait at the end of 2011, expect the same quality of work on Lincoln when it hits at the end of this year.

13. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Abraham Lincoln Vampire HunterRelease Date: June 22, 2012 Director: Timur Bekmambetov Cast: Benjamin Walker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dominic Cooper, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell, Anthony MackieBefore Spielberg's biopic on the 16th American President, theatergoers will have the opportunity to witness a younger Abraham Lincoln... hunting vampires. Seth Grahame-Smith is adapting his own novel into a screenplay, with the help of Simon Kinberg, to be produced by Tim Burton.The story of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter also takes the shape of a biopic, but with the twist that it's based on secret diaries kept by Lincoln (Walker) and given to his vampire friend (Cooper), a "good" vampire who rescued Lincoln and taught him how to fight and hunt. The novel offers alternative and hidden explanations behind real-world events, making it one of the most interesting films coming in 2012.

12. Total Recall

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Total RecallRelease Date: August 3, 2012 Director: Len Wiseman Cast: Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy, Ethan HawkeThe Columbia Pictures' remake of the 1990 Paul Verhoeven classic starring Arnold Schwarzenegger follows Screen Rant's 5 golden rules for movie remakes by taking the Philip K. Dick short story in an entirely different direction, and we're on board for the virtual trip. This Colin Farrell starrer drops the Mars and alien story of the original (along with the cheesy one-liners) in favor of a grittier and more realistic take on the near future. Expect lots of action and beautiful visuals in this sci-fi adventure.

11. The Bourne Legacy

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Bourne LegacyRelease Date: August 3, 2012 Director: Tony Gilroy Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Joan AllenMatt Damon's Jason Bourne trilogy ended on a high note with The Bourne Ultimatum but it didn't end the franchise. Although Damon and director Paul Greengrass are not involved, screenwriter Tony Gilroy returns as the writer and jumps into the captain's chair to helm the fourth installment in the Bourne franchise. Similar to what's occurring in the Mission: Impossible series, Jeremy Renner steps in to take over the established franchise as a new character (a CIA operative) with a new story set in the same universe based on the Robert Ludlum novels. We expect another smart thriller from The Bourne Legacy, with a lead character who uses his brain over brawn, and we hope the series continues long enough to see the titular character eventually return.

10. Snow White and the Huntsman

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Snow White and the HuntsmanRelease Date: June 1, 2012 Director: Rupert Sanders Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize TheronOf the two Snow White films coming out next year, the one with Thor star Chris Hemsworth as the titular Huntsman is the one to be excited about. We're happy to see Kristen Stewart as the lead in a big budget non-Twilight film, and with the supporting cast (especially the dwarves)  filled out with likable and recognizable stars (including Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone and Ian McShane), this movie and its stylistic aesthetic is easily one of the go-to fantasy movies of 2012, offering a unique twist on a classic fairy tale. You also can't go wrong with Chris Hemsworth wielding a medieval weapon.

9. Django Unchained

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Django UnchainedRelease Date: December 25, 2012 Director: Quentin Tarantino Cast: Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sacha Baron Cohen, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Kurt RussellAlthough not the typical Christmas-type movie, the formula of Quentin Tarantino + incredible ensemble cast always yields great results. Django Unchained is a spaghetti western revenge flick about a freed slave (Foxx) trained to be a bounty hunter from his mentor (Waltz), who goes on a mission to save his enslaved wife. This is right up Tarantino's alley, so expect great things from the dialogue and characters - many of whom are played by Tarantino regulars.

8. The Hunger Games

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - The Hunger GamesRelease Date: March 23, 2012 Director: Gary Ross Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Donald SutherlandBased on the successful novel - and first of a trilogy - by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games tells the tale of Katniss Everdeen, who must fight for her life in the annual main event, the key piece of entertainment for the post-apocalyptic future America. Lionsgate is banking on this franchise becoming the next big young adult hit as the Twilight series winds down, and with the talent involved, combined with our fondness for the books (the first two, anyway), we have high hopes for this spring release.

7. Skyfall

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Skyfall (James Bond)Release Date: November 9, 2012 Director: Sam Mendes Cast: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw
Whether or not Daniel Craig signs on for another five James Bond films, he'll finally be back next year for Skyfall and we're thankful the MGM situation was resolved so it could happen. Quantum of Solace let a lot of us down after Casino Royale successfully rebooted the series, giving fans a believable and enjoyable take on Agent 007. Craig, and those involved, promise big things from Skyfall, which boasts a strong cast of talent and an entirely original story not related to any of Ian Fleming's novels - and thankfully and not associated with Quantum of Solace.
SkyFall poster art by AndrewSS7.

6. The Expendables 2

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - The Expendables 2Release Date: August 17, 2012 Director: Simon West Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Scott Adkins and Novak Djokovi.The cast list, trailer and poster for The Expendables 2 is literally a dream come true, and a decade ago, it was unfathomable that a single movie could contain so many iconic action stars. The Expendables was Stallone's tribute to '80s action movies, and for the sequel, he's bringing back everyone and everything we loved about that and (literally) blowing it up with so much more.Add the fact that Con Air director Simon West is taking over the helm from Stallone (who didn't exactly impress with the last film) and there's reason to be excited that the sequel could surpass the original.

5. The Amazing Spider-Man

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - The Amazing Spider-ManRelease Date: July 3, 2012 Director: Marc Webb Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Denis LearyWhen Spider-Man 4 was canned and Sony immediately pushed ahead on development of a 3D reboot, there was a collective groan from moviegoers and comic fans at the thought of  seeing another origin story. But with the direction they took - bringing Marc Webb into the director's chair, casting Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, drawing more from the comics, and all the steps following - production has been on the up and up and we're genuinely excited from what we've seen from The Amazing Spider-Man trailer and footage at Comic-Con, so much so that it's one of our most anticipated films of the year.

4. Prometheus

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - PrometheusRelease Date: June 8, 2012 Director: Ridley Scott Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Idris Elba, Guy PearceOriginally a prequel to Alien (still is?) but now only set in the Aliens universe, Ridley Scott is back to bring us what we love most here at Screen Rant. The cast, story and mystery surrounding Prometheus, as well as the script by Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts, has us so intrigued that we were sold on the concept alone. When the Prometheus trailer hit, our high hopes were justified and we couldn't be more excited about a return to Alien-style sci-fi horror, with this tale about explorers heading to a distant planet searching for the origins of our species.

3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - The HobbitRelease Date: December 14, 2012 Director: Peter Jackson Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lily, Elijah WoodIt's impossible for any fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy to not be ecstatic about returning to Middle-Earth for the story of Bilbo Baggins. The Hobbit  tale will be told over two movies and will serve as a prequel of sorts to the Lord of the Rings films, so much so that when it's all said and done, the five movies can be watched back-to-back as a consistent and complete pentalogy. Much of the cast and crew return from the trilogy, with many of the same locations in New Zealand used again for familiarity.  Gandalf, we're ready for this adventure.

2. The Avengers

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - The AvengersRelease Date: May 4, 2012 Director: Joss Whedon Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Skarsgard, Cobie SmuldersArguably the most ambitious film project ever, no studio has ever succeeded in doing what Marvel Studios has constructed with their shared cinematic universe and lead-ups to The Avengers. Five individual superhero films over four years laid the foundation for this big superhero team-up, directed by geek icon Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly). And while some of the more recent Marvel superhero films didn't quite meet our expectations, we have the highest of hopes for The Avengers. Much of the film remains shrouded in mystery (and rumors), but from what we've seen so far of our favorite heroes in costume and in action, this should be the epitome of epicness.

1. The Dark Knight Rises

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - The Dark Knight RisesRelease Date: July 20, 2012 Director: Christopher Nolan Cast: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion CotillardThe Dark Knight Rises comes this summer with the highest of expectations after the financial and critical success that was The Dark Knight, but there's no question that Christopher Nolan can pull this off as the conclusion to his Batman story. The already impressive returning cast is boasted with the help of a few new characters played by Nolan regulars in what will undoubtedly be a complex and rich Batman adventure that runs full circle with Batman Begins. Few movies have earned this much excitement and anticipation - fewer still have actually delivered on it. For our money, we suspect Nolan will meet that challenge.


Most Anticipated Movies of 2012There are many other high-profile films (we started with over 60) that interest us this year, but didn't make the list either because of  negative early reviews or us simply finding them not as exciting as the 20 above. Now that you know what the Screen Rant team is looking forward to this year, let us know what you are anticipating.For a comprehensive look at all of the movies coming out this year, be sure to check out our massive 2012 movie preview.-Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.
TAGS: abraham lincoln vampire hunter, django unchained, gangster squad, gi joe 2, haywire, jack the giant killer, james bond, lincoln, prometheus, skyfall, snow white and the huntsman, the amazing spider-man, the avengers, the bourne legacy, the dark knight rises, the expendables 2, the hobbit, the hunger games, the wettest county in the world, total recall, world war z


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  1. eagerly awaiting to watch in Order:

    2. The Expendables 2
    3. World War Z
    4. Resident Evil Retribution

    GI Joe 2 would be in my list but since The Rock is now a part of it, I’d rather let it pass then

  2. i agree… i’m really excited to see snow white and the huntsman, amazing spiderman and the avenger.

  3. Did you forget P.T. Anderson is supposed to be coming out with a movie this year?

  4. Breaking Dawn: Pt 2
    Why is it not on the list?!?!?!?!

    • Take a look at BD1 and that will pretty much tell you why Pt 2 is not on the list.

      • Twilight sucks gtfo of here

    • because its lame

  5. The dark knight rises is possibly the most anticipated movie since the phantom menace, no disrespect to other films coming out this year but it has to be hands down number 1(yes i know everyone has diff opions but im speaking of overall hype). That said the highest grossing film of the year will probably be The Hobbit
    To be fair independent and low budget films, even though they are great films, cant be put on a most anticipated list when you consider mass media,thats not what this list is about. though no MIB3 is very suspicious.
    I hope Nolan stands his ground and doesnt mess with the Bane voice, yeah ill admit it was hard to decipher what he was saying in the prolouge(and for you viewers that have only watched bootleg online copies,in imax it is harder to hear) but I think that just adds to the charcter and his intimidating presence.


  7. Gotta be the new Sweeney Film. Jeremy Clarkson’s in it! Also loving the new Three Stooges movie trailers.

    • Jesus

  8. Men in Black III?

    Pitt, Gandolfini, Liotta….
    How could that not be on the list?!

  10. Looks like hollywood is lowering the bar on quality flicks. They only want to take a chance on movies if it offers the chance of having a part II, part III, video game, action figures, and tshirts etc. So no need to make the script too thought provoking.

  11. Avengers……final fight scene just got boring long and im 15.
    Batman…all nolans batman films suck because he changed story line terribly
    Spider man…super syced
    GI JOE2…pushed back almost a year

  12. on the hobbit you missed out orlando bloom ;p

  13. Tell me, why in the world is Ted not on this list? t(-.-t)

  14. No metion of PT Anderson’s new one The Master or the Coen Brother’s Inside Llewn Davis, Killing them Softly, Seven Psycopaths and many more movies that sound way more interesting then the Expendables 2 and GI Joe 2.

  15. “Snow White” turns out to be one of the biggest disappointments EVER. i don’t usually go facepalm on movies but this one here made me wish i never bought my ticket & wasted 2 hours in the theatre…

  16. Why was resident evil or silent hill is not on the list hmm maybe your not a video game fan or i dont know hhmmmm well i wanted to see the release date can you just post the re lease date?

  17. Most of the movies on this list were AWFUL. and Cloud Atlas wasn’t even on it -_-

  18. please say films that are interesting!!!!