For many moviegoers, there are two big film-watching seasons: Oscar season and blockbuster season. After a particularly potent Oscar season, it’s time for an equally strong blockbuster season; based on the slate of films lined up for this summer, it looks like there’s something for pretty much everyone this year.
First off, 2013’s set to rival 2012 in sheer number of superhero films, if not characters. Iron Man, Superman, Wolverine and Kick-Ass are all heading back to the big screen this year. Sci-fi fans will also get a heavy dose of films this year, whether from pre-existing franchises like Star Trek or wholly original concepts like August’s Elysium. There are also plenty of comedies coming out this summer, including both Sandra Bullock’s return to comedy in The Heat and Sundance favorite, The Kings of Summer.
So what are the films we at David Atlanta are most excited about as summer starts? Here, in order of release, are the ten films we’re looking forward to watching most this summer.
Iron Man 3 (May 3)
After the mind-boggling box office success of The Avengers, it’s smart for Marvel to focus on the biggest draw in its superhero arsenal these days. From the looks of the trailers and posters, though, we should expect something a little darker this go-around. I’d venture a guess to say that any storyline that features (and this is seen in the trailer, but here’s a SPOILER ALERT for you) Pepper Potts in an Iron Man suit isn’t going for Christopher Nolan levels of darkness. Maybe.
The Great Gatsby (May 10)
An adaptation of a famous literary work by a director known more for his artistic chutzpah than box office success screams for an Oscar-timed release, not a release as part of a kickoff to the biggest moneymaking part of Hollywood’s year. With an immersive 3D experience and a soundtrack produced by Jay-Z, though, maybe summer is in fact the best time for The Great Gatsby to come to the screen. Let’s face it—director Baz Luhrmann’s biggest hits, Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!, aren’t exactly sleepy little dramas.
Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17)
Before J.J. Abrams takes off to another galaxy, audiences will get to see the follow-up to his critical and commercial revival of the Star Trek universe. We don’t know too much about what to expect, but we do know geek god Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Skerlock, The Hobbit) is playing the mysterious antagonist, John Harrison. Really, though, as long as Into Darkness lives up to the promise of 2009’s Star Trek—and maybe adds some strong homoerotic tension between Chris Pine’s Kirk and Zachary Quinto’s Spock—fans should eat this up.
Now You See Me (May 31)
The director of The Incredible Hulk and the actor who replaced that film’s lead in The Avengers come together…for a completely unrelated film that also features the two wise old men from the Dark Knight trilogy. In spite of the backgrounds just mentioned, Now You See Me is not a superhero film, though it does involve magic and villainy. Jesse Eisenberg leads a team of magicians who rob a white-collar criminal and give the money to audience members, while Mark Ruffalo is the FBI agent determined to stop them before they pull off a bigger heist.
The Kings of Summer (June 7)
Some of the funniest comedic talent working these days, including Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally and Allison Brie, play supporting roles to the three young boys who make up The Kings of Summer. The film was a huge hit when it played at Sundance earlier this year, and for good reason—it’s one of the flat-out funniest films to hit screens in recent years. Newcomers Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias play the titular characters, all searching for a way to escape their parents and jump into adulthood.
Man of Steel (June 14)
It’s a bitd…it’s a plane…no, it’s Man of Steel, the reboot of Superman’s big-screen adventures. With Christopher Nolan serving as a producer on the film that comes from director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen), we’re expecting a superhero film that will rival Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy in terms of scope and storytelling strength. Plus, let’s be honest, Henry Cavill’s take on Superman may be the sexiest superhero since Hugh Jackman first clawed at screens as Wolverine.
Monsters University (June 21)
Pixar’s recent output has been a little disappointing, if we’re being perfectly honest. Will they be able to come back fully with Monsters University, the prequel to 2001’s Monsters, Inc.? We won’t know for sure until the film comes out, but as far as sequels and prequels go, Pixar could certainly do worse (Cars 3, anyone?). Besides, have we really had enough of protagonists Mike and Sully? I didn’t think so.
The Heat (June 28)
There are plenty of reasons to watch this movie. Maybe you love Melissa McCarthy, arguably the best part of both Bridesmaids and Identity Thief. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to Sandra Bullock’s first comedic venture since 2009’s The Proposal. Personally, it took one bit from the red-band trailer to sell me: hearing Sandra Bullock yell “mothafucka.” I’m there. I’m so there.
The Wolverine (July 26)
Let’s hope the second time’s the charm for Wolverine. After the rather noxious spinoff X-Men Origins: Wolverine crashed and burned (at least critically), filmmakers are going a different route with this new, standalone film that finds Wolverine in Japan. Now, Hugh Jackman can do no wrong as Wolverine, I’m convinced, but I do want to know one thing: how much longer will he be able to inhabit the Wolverine role? It’s been 13 years since he first shot to stardom in the original X-Men. Jackman’s still looking good (maybe even better with age), but he’s got maybe a couple of films at most left in him before he retracts the claws for good.
Elysium (August 9)
Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp’s last film, District 9, managed to earn an unexpected Best Picture Oscar nomination. For his follow-up, Elysium, he’s adding in some big names to what looks like a similarly engaging story. If District 9 was an allegorical tale about racism, Elysium is similarly focused on a different concept: economic disparity. Think of it as a film for the 99%, where a shaved-head, abtastic Matt Damon represents the common man and Jodie Foster represents the wildly wealthy 1%. It’s too soon to tell if Blomkamp succeeds here, but based on early footage, there’s a good chance Elysium will be as good as—or even better than—District 9.
Want more? Here are some more films coming out this summer:
May 10: Peeples
May 24: The Hangover Part III; Fast and Furious 6; Epic
May 31: The Purge; The East
June 7: After Earth; The Internship; Much Ado About Nothing
June 14: This Is the End; The Bling Ring
June 21: World War Z
June 28: White House Down
July 3: Despicable Me 2
July 5: The Way, Way Back
July 12: Pacific Rim; Grown Ups 2
July 17: Turbo
July 19: The Conjuring; R.I.P.D.; Red 2; Only God Forgives
July 31: The Smurfs 2
August 1: Planes
August 2: 300: Rise of an Empire; The Spectacular Now; 2 Guns
August 7: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
August 9: We’re the Millers
August 16: Kick-Ass 2
August 23: Mortal Instruments; You’re Next
August 28: Closed Circuit
August 30: Getaway; One Direction: This Is Us