The Mayans may be prepping for the worst in 2012, but movie fans can expect one of the most exciting summers in history. After last week’s Warner Bros./IMAX announcement and the recent G.I. Joe 2 target release date news, the 2012 movie schedule now includes five films that give superhero and sci-fi fans reason to salivate. As news continues to roll in and release dates shuffle, the list could get even bigger.

Between The Avengers and Batman 3, there’s already enough on the summer 2012 movie slate to inspire geekgasms, but the addition of some highly-anticipated reboots and sequels set it up nicely against an already filled-out summer of 2011, which features a slew of big-time superhero movies geeks have been dying to see .

Regardless of how awesome  it may look in our summer movie trailer mash-up, in comparison to 2011 and 2012, summer 2010 is as feeble as Christian Bale in The Machinist. The expectations for 2011 and 2012 are already through the roof, as some of the most ambitious tentpole films ever imagined will be fighting for the hearts of geeks and fanboys everywhere. So you be the judge of which summer looks the most appealing.

Here’s a list of the major “geek films” being released during the next two summer seasons:


Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Hangover 2, Mission: Impossible IV, Green Lantern, Transformers 3, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Captain America and Cowboys and Aliens.


Batman 3, The Avengers, Battleship, Star Trek 2, G.I. Joe 2, Spider-Man reboot and the Superman reboot (technically Supes would be released during the holiday season, but we’re throwing it in here anyway due to its high geek factor).

Let’s dissect these two summers and determine the best. It’s really up to you, but I’m here to help.


There is a fascinating DC vs. Marvel movie battle heating up. Two Marvel staples finally make their way to the big screen in 2011 with Thor and Captain America, while DC attempts to lure in the comic crowd with their own character new to the movie circuit, Green Lantern.

2012 is DC’s turn with two of the most adapted superheroes, Superman and Batman, revisiting the silver screen. For all the people wishing for a collaborative film between the two iconic characters, at least they’ll both have movies out in the same year. It’s a start. Marvel sneaks into the mix with what hopes to be a fitting reboot of the Spider-Man franchise.

But it is Marvel’s The Avengers, scheduled for May 4th, 2012, that claims the victor. Sure, Batman 3 is one of the most anticipated films in recent memory – but the fusion of multiple Marvel Movies all coming together for The Avengers is an unprecedented movie event.


If you are of the opinion that sequels never improve upon the original, the summers of 2011 and 2012 may not be for you. Between the two years there are eight major sequels, only two of which the collective audiences will likely scoff at.


Jack Sparrow will continue his sensational adventures with some new sidekicks in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Rob Marshall will attempt to keep the ship afloat with newbies to the franchise Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane.

The three best friends that anybody could have will find themselves in ridiculous scenarios again in The Hangover 2. The entire cast will return, along with director Todd Phillips. What’s nice is the intention to create a sequel came from the artists, not the studio. So, instead of a rushed, studio-driven sequel to attract every last cent of the public’s money, we will get a genuine follow-up.

The final chapter in the Harry Potter franchise will release next summer, closing the book on one of the most revered literary adaptations in history. Warner Bros. has announced they will turn their focus almost entirely on DC superhero movies as their tentpoles after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. According to the 2012 schedule, they are poised to do just that.

Transformers 3 and Mission: Impossible IV close out 2011’s blockbuster sequels. The leads of both franchises return, but details on each film are few and far between. Though Transformers 3 begins filming in Chicago in early July, all we know about both movies is they continue two of the biggest blockbuster franchises out there.


While 2012 has fewer sequels, they are still quite prevalent. The very existence of a G.I. Joe 2 is disappointing, almost giving the grand prize to the 2011 summer. But with the aforementioned Batman 3 and Star Trek 2, there is enough explosive power to keep geeks on the edge of their seats.


Ironically, the two remaining tentpole films we need to discuss are pretty similar. Jon Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens (2011) and Peter Berg’s Battleship (2012) will pit aliens versus mankind in some relatively original ways. The latter will give aliens a chance to take over the seas, while the former gives the western a makeover worthy of director Roland Emmerich’s approval.

Cowboys & Aliens - thankfully, the closest thing we'll get to a western directed by Roland Emmerich.

With more currently on the plate for 2011 (it’s still early for 2012 dates), and possibly one of the most expensive years of productions ever, the race is extremely tight. In terms of expectations, both summer 2011 and 2012 will have the potential to break box office records, but thanks to Batman 3 and The Avengers, 2012 gets the vote on my most anticipated ballot.

If you had your pick of summers to fast-forward to, which would it be? Summer 2011 or Summer 2012? Debate in the comments section below.