All AMC Shows
Movies on AMC
It's 2012, and everyone has bats on the brain. Yes, The Dark Knight Rises is out in a few short months. But there are plenty of other comic book movies hitting theaters in this most apocalyptic of years. In fact, with two major reboots, three sequels, and the biggest superhero team-up ever to hit the big screen, 2012 is looking to be the best year for comic book movies in a long while. If the world has to end in December, at least we're going out with a bang!
Take a look at what the year holds in store for comic book movie fans.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (February)
First off, yes -- Ghost Rider pees fire. (At least he does in the trailer.) This is the sort of irreverent attitude that Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have brought to the sequel to 2007's Ghost Rider, a film that absolutely no one liked. Nic Cage is back as Johnny Blaze, this time trying to save a young boy (who fans are speculating is the '90s Ghost Rider Danny Ketch) from being possessed by The Devil (Ciarán Hinds). Thor and The Losers star Idris Elba completes his comic book movie trifecta as Blaze's kick-butt monk sidekick Moreau, while Johnny Whitworth looks like he walked in from the Twilight movies as the pale demon baddie Blackout. While I'm skeptical that Nic Cage can still make a watchable movie, the trailer suggests that -- supernatural bodily function gags aside -- Spirit of Vengeance will at least be a flashy, high-octane action spectacle to while away the late winter days. Even the trailer is an improvement on the original.
The Avengers (May)
At long last, Joss Whedon's Avengers are together in one blockbuster movie. (Can you believe we've been waiting since 2008's Iron Man?) As we've seen in the trailer, Thor's diabolical brother Loki is the movie's "big bad," creating a massive problem that only the assembled might of Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, The Incredible Hulk, and the aforementioned Thor can stop. (Does it have something to do with the mystical Tesseract cube seen in Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger? And will rumors of Skrull sightings on the film's New York set pan out?) Expectations are running high for Whedon to deliver the same mix of action, humor, and character drama that he brought to cult TV hits like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. While Whedon has the goods (he's penned his fair share of Marvel comics), it's important to remember that this is only his second film as a director. (His first, the fun Firefly big screen adaptation Serenity, didn't exactly set the box office on fire.) Fingers crossed that Marvel backed the right geek icon on this one.
Men in Black III (May)
While you've probably never read the obscure early-'90s Malibu/Marvel comic book series that was this franchise's inspiration, it's safe to say you've seen the movies. Ten years after Men in Black II, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back as the best-dressed alien hunters around. (Watch the trailer here.) This time, Smith is going back in time to the 1960s to save Jones' younger self (played by Josh Brolin) from an alien who wants to make sure the Men in Black never exist. You're forgiven if you don't remember what happened in the last film -- the third installment appears to ignore that one entirely. This outing hopes to strike the balance of scifi action and one-liners that made the first film a megahit. But will it have a new theme song performed by Smith? (Answer: probably.)
The Amazing Spider-Man (July)
New cast, new director, new shiny 3D ... same old Peter Parker. Are audiences ready for a Spider-Man reboot already? (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb will answer that question in July, along with a cast that includes new Spidey Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), Rhys Ifans (The Lizard), Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben), Sally Field (Aunt May), and Dennis Leary (Capt. Stacy). Peter's rarely-seen parents (played by Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz) also appear in this one, as the wall-crawler discovers the secrets behind their disappearance. Word is Norman Osborn (aka Green Goblin) will factor into the plot, as his Oscorp company is reportedly the site of The Lizard's gruesome transformation. (And possibly where the radioactive spider who bites Peter Parker comes from.) One thing we know for sure: no more organic web-shooters. As in the comic, Peter constructs his web-shooters with good old-fashioned science know-how.
The Dark Knight Rises (July)
Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman outing is easily the year's most-anticipated movie. The buzz on this one has been deafening thanks to early trailers and a six-minute preview debuting before Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. And because it wouldn't be a Batman film without a little controversy, the Internet has been divided about both Bane's voice (some fans are having difficulty understanding him) and the topical themes (Catwoman's dialogue in the trailer hints to an "Occupy Gotham"-style war between the one-percenters like Bruce Wayne and the disenfranchised masses). Reports of cleaned-up audio for Bane have surfaced, though by all accounts Nolan has no plans to change how Tom Hardy sounds in the film. It's a testament to how anticipated The Dark Knight Rises is that we'll all be lining up for a movie where we could potentially be scratching our heads at everything one of the lead characters says.
No, this isn't a sequel to the dreadful (get it?) 1995 Sylvester Stallone-Rob Schneider original. British comic book superstar Judge Dredd is getting a slick reboot starring Star Trek's Karl Urban in the role Stallone infamously mumbled through. Adapting comic book creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra's futuristic judge, jury, and executioner is 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland, who knows a thing or two about postapocalyptic thrillers. (Vantage Point director Pete Travis is behind the camera.) Even better? Schneider's annoying hacker is replaced by Olivia Thirlby (Juno), who plays rookie Judge Cassandra Anderson. Game of Thrones star Lena Headey rounds out the cast as the evil gang leader "Ma Ma." In keeping with the comic, unlike Stallone, Urban's Dredd will reportedly keep his helmet on. While we've yet to see a trailer, the few photos that have been released look appropriately gritty and blissfully Schneider-free.