Who: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe
What: A young journalist is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race.
When: June 14th
Why: I’ve never been a very big Superman fan, so my expectations for “Man of Steel” are pretty low, but if the all-star team that Warner Bros. has assembled for this latest reboot can’t make me a convert, no one will. Though Henry Cavill has still yet to prove himself as a viable leading man, the rest of the cast is excellent from top to bottom, especially the somewhat left field choice to have Michael Shannon play the villain in a huge summer blockbuster. Director Zack Snyder is certainly no stranger to the comic book world having already adapted “Watchmen” for the big screen, but I fear that if “Man of Steel” is every bit as good as Warner Bros. is hoping, the credit won’t go to him, but rather executive producer Christopher Nolan, who was brought in to oversee the project following his uber-successful Dark Knight trilogy.
Who: Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga, Katie Chang, Israel Broussard and Leslie Mann
What: Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the internet to track celebrities’ whereabouts in order to rob their homes.
When: June 14th
Why: “Spring Breakers” had some interesting things to say about modern youth culture, and I expect Sofia Coppola’s latest film will add to that discussion as well, although packaged in a much more accessible, mainstream way. The story is almost too good to be true, which is what makes it so perfect for the Hollywood treatment, and while Coppola has yet to match the excellence of 2003’s “Lost in Translation,” “The Bling Ring” looks like it could be her best film in years. A big reason for that is the cast of young up-and-comers – namely, Emma Watson, who’s proven in movies like “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “My Week with Marilyn” that she’s a legit talent that only gets better with each role, and the “Harry Potter” star most likely to succeed. (Although Daniel Radcliffe might have something to say about that.)
Who: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale and David Morse
What: U.N. employee Gerry Lane traverses the world to stop the zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.
When: June 21st
Why: There are plenty of reasons not to be excited about director Marc Forster’s big screen adaptation of Max Brooks’ bestselling book, including some iffy special effects and a troubled production that’s been made so public that most of Hollywood is betting against it. But the zombie genre has been in dire need of a major revamping in the wake of its pop culture renaissance, and this globe-hopping, socio-political action thriller looks like the perfect candidate to do just that. Though it’ll be interesting to see whether the behind the scenes problems (including a bloated budget and reported head butting between Forster and star Brad Pitt) have bled onto the film, if the finished product is any bit as good as the source material promises, Paramount will surely view it as a small victory regardless of its box office performance.