With the first weekend of 2013 about to throw moviegoers into a new year of film releases, it’s time for us to share what the Screen Rant team is looking forward to covering and watching on the big screen over the next 12 months. From a few long-awaited sequels to a plethora of comic book films, 2013 aims to improve over last summer’s low box office attendance numbers.
Beginning with a list of over 70 films, we’ve narrowed down our top 25 most anticipated films of 2013.
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Cast: Julianne Moore, Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges, Kit Harington, Olivia Williams, Djimon Hounsou
Supernatural tales may be all the rage in Hollywood these days but it would be a mistake to dismiss The Seventh Son as just another teen fantasy story. A sordid story of witches and ghouls, starring Barnes and Bridges as a pair of warriors out to hunt creatures of the night, the film should provide plenty of exciting visuals and captivating character drama – especially with villainous performances from Julianne Moore and Djimon Hounsou. Bonus points for an appearance by Game of Thrones alumni Kit Harington!
Release Date: April 19, 2013
Cast: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Zoe Bell, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy) brings his visual eye and sci-fi chops to direct Tom Cruise in the sci-fi thriller Oblivion. The world has seemingly been emptied of humanity and while repairing drones, Jack Harper (Cruise) discovers a crashed spaceship with a human survivor that begins to unravel the mystery. We enjoyed Jack Reacher and look forward to meeting Jack Harper.
Release Date: April 26, 2013
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, Tony Shalhoub
Before returning to the Transformers franchise once again, director Michael Bay is finally taking a break from large scale firefights and explosions to craft this “small” passion project based on a true story about bodybuilders who botch their kidnapping and extortion plans. The lovable trio of The Rock, Marky Mark and Anthony Mackie have us excited for the action and comedy in Pain & Gain.
Release Date: June 21, 2013
Cast: Billy Crystal, Frank Oz, Jennifer Tilly, John Goodman, Kelsey Grammer, Steve Buscemi
It’s hard to go wrong with any film by Pixar (ignoring Cars), and we couldn’t be more excited about John Goodman and Billy Crystal returning to voice the leads for the prequel to Monsters Inc., a film we’ve been waiting over a decade for, one that follows young Mike and Sulley attending the University of Fear and beginning their relationship.
Release Date: September 6, 2013
Cast: Vin Diesel, Katee Sackhoff, Karl Urban, Dave Bautista, Bokeem Woodbine
The unique sci-fi thriller Pitch Black helped launch Vin Diesel’s career and earned a big budget sequel in the under-performing Chronicles of Riddick. Years later, writer-director David Twohy and Diesel return to bring the last Furyan to the big screen in a more intimate (and hard R) return to form, in a tale of betrayal and revenge, loaded with darkness, bounty hunters and alien monsters.
Release Date: October 25, 2013
Cast: Martin Freeman, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Simon Pegg, Paddy Considine
North American viewers will have to wait a few extra months to see the third installment of the “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy”, the other two being Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but it’s worth the wait to see Edgar Wright team with Pegg and Frost yet again. This particular comedy, about a pub crawl turned save-the-planet situation, riffs on the tropes and archetypes of your standard apocalyptic blockbusters.
Release Date: October 11, 2013
Cast: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Lance Reddick, Samuel L. Jackson
The American remake of Oldboy has garnered quite a bit of controversy, and has a tough task ahead at topping Park Chan-wook’s original Korean version, not to mention its infamous unedited corridor fight sequence. With Spike Lee directing and talent including Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley, and Elizabeth Olsen involved, it’s difficult to not look forward to their adaptation.
Release Date: July 12, 2013
Cast: Charlie Day, Charlie Hunnam, Clifton Collins Jr., Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman
A passion project for visionary director Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim pits giant robots vs. giant monsters. We aren’t excited about the tacked-on 3D but the footage we’ve seen thus far – and the film’s cast of TV faves – gives it a lot of potential to launch a new franchise.
Release Date: February 14, 2013
Cast: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Jai Courtney, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Patrick Stewart
Jai Courtney was a scene-stealer in Jack Reacher and proved that he could play the son of Bruce Willis’ John McClane in the fifth Die Hard. In A Good Day to Die Hard, the pair get caught up with the CIA’s plans to seize nuclear weapons. No big deal for the McClane family.
Release Date: January 11, 2013
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong
Kathryn Bigelow dominated the awards circuit with 2008’s The Hurt Locker and aims to do the same with Zero Dark Thirty, a film that tells the tale of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. It released in select theaters for press to critical acclaim in time for the awards season but doesn’t release wide until early January.
Release Date: December 20, 2013
Cast: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Christina Applegate
The fans wanted, the cast wanted it, and it’s finally happening. The legend of news anchor Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) continues with the long-awaited sequel to Anchorman in December, bringing back the entire cast along with plenty of cameos, as they deal with more issues of equality in the workplace. Expect a few musical numbers too!
Release Date: June 28, 2013
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey, John Leguizamo
Matthew Vaughn beat the studio system when he made Kick-Ass on his own and that film earned comic creator Mark Millar an R-rated sequel, this one directed by Jeff Wadlow. Smart casting additions, including Jim Carrey, and a much larger roster of costumed “heroes” and “villains” have us excited for the gruesome and raunchy return of Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl.
Release Date: April 12, 2013
Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, Elizabeth Blackmore
By default, the Evil Dead remake is facing the toughest of skepticism, but with Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell involved, our interest was piqued. When we saw the footage at New York Comic-Con (and the audience reaction), we were sold and this remake may actually live up to the poster tagline “the most terrifying film you will ever experience.”
Release Date: August 02, 2013
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker
Frank Moses (Willis) and his team of Retired Extremely Dangerous ex-CIA operatives gave us one of our favorite movies of 2010. After fighting to clear their names, they’re back and this time, they’re going international with new veteran cast additions Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Release Date: May 24, 2013
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Gina Carano, Jordana Brewster, Luke Evans, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel
After Tokyo Drift, Justin Lin managed to turn Fast & Furious into one of the most successful film franchises. An even bigger cast surrounds Dominic Toretto (Diesel) & Brian O’Conner’s (Walker) growing crew for the sixth installment which sees the mysterious return of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and the introduction of a new villain played by Luke Evans. Diesel vs. The Rock rematch?
Release Date: October 4, 2013
Cast: Clive Owen, Jamie Chung, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Michael Madsen, Rosario Dawson
Years of waiting will pay off in 2013 as Robert Rodriguez assembles new and familiar faces for the long-awaited Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. And yes, Mickey Rourke is back as Marv. We expect a similar faithful translation from Rodriguez and the ensemble.
Release Date: January 11, 2013
Cast: Anthony Mackie, Emma Stone, Giovanni Ribisi, Josh Brolin, Michael Peña, Nick Nolte, Robert Patrick, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn
Originally slated for September of 2012 as one of our most anticipated films of last year, Warner Bros. delayed the film in response to the tragic Colorado theater shooting, cutting the sequence involving a theater shootout and filming other scenes to replace. The high caliber cast and incredible trailers should make Gangster Squad an awards season contender for 2013 even with its unfortunate January release date.
Release Date: August 9, 2013
Cast: Jodie Foster, Matt Damon, Michael Shanks, Sharlto Copley, William Fichtner
After the Halo film project was canned, Neill Blomkamp adapted one of his shorts into the successful District 9. His next project, Elysium, starring Matt Damon, promises to make those behind Halo’s demise regret their decisions even more.
Release Date: November 22, 2013
Cast: Amanda Plummer, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Lenny Kravitz, Liam Hemsworth, Lynn Cohen, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson
Goodbye Twilight, hello Hunger Games. Gary Ross’ first installment successfully launched a new franchise based on Suzanne Collins’ popular trilogy of novels and Francis Lawrence’s sequel promises more action, more excitement, and more elaborate set pieces, as Katniss and Peeta are forced to compete once again, for each other and for District 12.
Release Date: December 13, 2013
Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch
Now that moviegoers have been introduced to Peter Jackson’s 3D 48fps version of Middle-earth and met young Bilbo and his 13 Dwarven companions, it’s time to finally meet the mighty dragon in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. We expect many of the criticisms of An Unexpected Journey to be washed away with part two of the trilogy.
Release Date: July 26, 2013
Cast: Brian Tee, Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto
After X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Fox and producer Lauren Shuler Donner took steps to ensure their future X-films don’t suffer the same issues and we saw the beginning of a turnaround with X-Men: First Class. With Hugh Jackman in the best shape of his life and given the chance to tell his favorite Logan story from Marvel Comics, James Mangold’s The Wolverine – based on a script by Christopher McQuarrie – may just be the Wolverine movie we’ve been waiting over a decade for.
Release Date: May 3, 2013
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany, Robert Downey Jr.
Anyone familiar with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang understands why the re-partnering of Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr. is something to get excited for, especially for the first chapter of Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man 3 promises to serve as a character-focused standalone feature, that will bring Tony Stark “back to the cave,” so to speak.
Release Date: June 14, 2013
Cast: Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Henry Cavill, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe
The return of the Superman franchise takes the form of a new origin story in Man of Steel, representing the potential first step in a larger, interconnected universe by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. With proven action director and comic book enthusiast Zack Snyder at the helm, we can’t wait to see a more badass Clark Kent on the big screen again. We hope it’ll help us forget Green Lantern.
Release Date: November 8, 2013
Cast: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Hemsworth, Christopher Eccleston, Idris Elba, Jaimie Alexander, Kat Dennings, Natalie Portman, Ray Stevenson, Rene Russo, Stellan Skarsgard, Tadanobu Asano, Tom Hiddleston, Zachary Levi
With Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) helming the Thor sequel and all talent involved boasting about the change in style and tone, Thor: The Dark World promises to be bigger, dirtier and more real, taking fans deeper into the nine realms and the cosmic side of the Marvel universe.
Release Date: May 17, 2013
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, John Cho, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana
Our most anticipated film of the year is the sequel to J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek which sees the return of the crew of the Enterprise led by Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk. Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch plays the intimidating and mysterious antagonist who will put Kirk in a position where he must earn the Captain’s chair he occupies.
The list represents only a portion of the films we’re excited to cover and see throughout the year and there are many other interesting releases we couldn’t fit in. Share what films you’re most excited for and which you believe will be the biggest at the box office!
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.