Top 40 Most Anticipated Films of 2012: #1-10


Only God Forgives
TBA 2012

So Drive was my top ten in 2009 so you damn well better believe director Nicolas Winding Refn‘s next film is going to be among my most anticipated films of 2012.

Written by Refn, Only God Forgives reteams the director with his Drive star, Ryan Gosling, in a story that revolves around a Bangkok police lieutenant and a gangster who decide to settle their differences in a Thai-boxing match. Sound a bit strange? Maybe like a story you’d expect to find on a direct-to-DVD title? Yeah, me too, and I can’t wait! As of now the film co-stars Kristin Scott Thomas and there’s no telling if it will be ready for 2012, but if it is I would expect a Toronto or Venice bow late this year.

Seven Psychopaths
TBA 2012

Did you see In Bruges? If you didn’t then you need to begin by watching that film. It will help you to better understand why I simply can’t wait to see what writer/director Martin McDonagh has planned for us with Seven Psychopaths, which includes a dream cast when you consider McDonagh’s writing in Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Olga Kurylenko, Tom Waits and Abbie Cornish.

Mickey Rourke was previously part of the cast but was replaced by Harrelson. Rourke promptly called McDonagh a “jerkoff” and said, “He can go play with himself.” If you ask me the film is already better off without Rourke.

As for the story, it centers on a screenwriter (Farrell) struggling for inspiration for his script, Seven Psychopaths, who gets drawn into the dog kidnapping schemes of his oddball friends (Rockwell and Walken). Harrelson plays a gangster who loses his dog, which causes things to spin out of control. You can check out a longer synopsis here.

June 8

2012 preview Prometheus
Photo: 20th Century Fox

It’s as if 2012 wants me to explode with anticipation. What’s that? Ridley Scott is returning to the world of Alien with a completely fresh story not specifically involving the Geiger-inspired ghouls that tormented Sigourney Weaver for four films? Hell yes I’ll be there! What? And he’s cast Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce? You’ve overplayed your hand good sir.

As for an explanation of the story, the synopsis tells us Prometheus creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. You can explore what all that means even further if you wish right here, but I think I know enough as is.

November 21

There has been so much talk about Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity, I’ve done everything I can to keep from reading any of it. The only quote I’ve even read comes from Cuaron’s close friend Guillermo del Toro who said, “Alfonso and [cinematographer] Emmanuel Lubezki are absolutely pushing a new boundary in filmmaking, and completely mind-blowing. The way they’re making that movie, I think, will forever change certain types of productions. The engineering and ingenuity of the machines they created to film that way is fantastic.”

What is he talking about exactly? I don’t know and I don’t want to know.

Serving as Cuaron’s first feature film since Children of Men and starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, Gravity centers on the sole surviving human member of a space mission who is desperately trying to return home to Earth and her daughter. I have a longer synopsis right here of which I have not read (yes, I posted it and did not read it) in hopes of learning nothing more. This is one film I truly cannot wait to see and I hope I’m among the first because I don’t want hype, positive or negative, affecting my expectations.

Django Unchained
December 25

2012 preview Django Unchained
Title page from Quentin Tarantino’s script for Django Unchained

Whatever your particular vice may be, Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained is the movie equivalent for me. It’s something I almost can’t explain. Tarantino has managed to take B-movie and obscure foreign film ideas and turn them into multiplex blockbusters. Films that would have been made on shoestring budgets 40 years ago are now attaching so many big stars, directors would dream for just 10% of the talent Tarantino has managed to attract to Django Unchained. And to think Will Smith passed on the lead role is just shocking, but perhaps this sure-to-be controversial feature was just too much for him.

Starring Jamie Foxx in the title role as Django, Django Unchained follows this freed slave as he seeks to reunite with his slave wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) on a journey that will see him team up with Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a German bounty hunter, to take down Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), an evil plantation owner.

Along with the names I’ve already mentioned, the cast also includes Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, M.C. Gainey, Don Johnson, Anthony LaPaglia, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, RZA, James Remar and Sacha Baron Cohen. Yeah, it’s my most anticipated film of the year and I’m going to have to wait until Christmas to see it.

And there you have it. The final ten of my top 40 most anticipated films of 2012. How close is this to your top ten? What films weren’t in my top 40 that you are anticipating? Obviously I wasn’t able to include everything. In fact, here are 25 additional movies you may be looking forward to that I didn’t cover in this preview:

  1. 12 Years a Slave (directed by Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Brad Pitt)
  2. 47 Ronin
  3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  4. The Amazing Spider-Man
  5. The Avengers
  6. The Cabin in the Woods
  7. Dark Shadows
  8. The Dictator (Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest comedy)
  9. The Expendables 2
  10. Gambit (written by Joel and Ethan Coen)
  11. Great Expectations
  12. Great Hope Springs (Meryl Streep’s latest feature)
  13. Haywire
  14. Lay the Favorite (Stephen Frears’s latest film)
  15. Life of Pi (Ang Li’s new movie)
  16. Magic Mike
  17. Men in Black III (ha, ha, ha)
  18. Paranormal Activity 4
  19. Passion
  20. Premium Rush
  21. Riddick (Jordi Molla and Katee Sackhoff just joined the cast)
  22. Snow White and the Huntsman (the Snow White movie I want to see)
  23. This is Forty (Judd Apatow’s follow-up to Knocked Up)
  24. Total Recall
  25. World War Z

Anything there get you excited?

List your top ten most anticipated in the comments below and if you missed any of my previous installments I’ve included the navigation for all the other editions directly below.

Most Anticipated 2012 Navigation

#1-10 | #11-20 | #21-30 | #31-40

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