Ranking Our Most Anticipated Movies of 2013 From 10 to 1

<i>by <a href=http://www.twitter.com/Newsarama/>Newsarama Staff</a></i> <p>Though the Academy Awards are still a few weeks away traditionally the true "end" of a year in movies our thoughts are already fast-forwarding to this spring and summer, where this year's most high-profile films will start rolling out. Following Sunday's Super Bowl with splashy ads for <i>Iron Man 3</i>, <i>Star Trek: Into Darkness</i>, <i>The Lone Ranger</i> and more, who could blame us? <p>There are a <i>lot</i> of big movies out in 2013, specifically of the comic book-based and/or "genre" variety. With the summer blockbuster season just a few months away, we polled the staff, tallied the votes and ranked the 10 films that we're more looking forward to next year. <p>The results are as follows keep in mind that we're limiting contenders to the usual scope of Newsarama coverage, in case you're wondering about the lack of broad comedies or period dramas. Among those that received votes but didn't make the cut: <i>The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug</i>, <i>Elysium</i>, <i>Ender's Game</i>, <i>Sin City: A Dame to Kill For</i>, <i>The Hunger Games: Catching Fire</i> and <i>G.I. Joe: Retaliation</i>. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>

THE LONE RANGER

<b>Release date</b>: July 3, 2013. <p>Westerns have had an up-and-down history at the contemporary box office, but this is one of the few properties in the genre that has the high-concept-slash-cultural-nostalgia value that's making comic book movies the darlings of multiplexes. <p>The big screen return of the mysterious masked man was inevitable, and while frankly a <i>Pirates</i> reteaming of Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp gives us more pause than optimism, a Tonto-centric take on the concept is logical, probably long overdue and, we admit, holds our interest. But this one probably also has the biggest bust potential on the list. (<i>Michael Doran</i>.)

KICK-ASS 2

<b>Release date</b>: June 28, 2013. <p>In a world of Armored Avengers and Last Sons of dying planets, <i>Kick-Ass</i> was just what the doctor ordered to keep things fresh in the world of superhero movies. That is, of course, if your doctor is a sadist named Mark Millar. <p>Millar, now shepherding the X-franchise for Fox in addition to making his own comic movies, is certainly at his best when he can just go all out, and that's exactly what he did with <i>Kick-Ass</i>. With the sequel, he clearly plans to take it further, with more violence, more stars (Jim Carrey, pictured, and Donald Faison on a superteam are reason enough to see this), and a philosophy that had the original subtitle of "Balls to the Wall." <p>Ultimately, the <i>Kick-Ass</i> films are a palate cleanser. They don't take themselves too seriously (and you shouldn't either), they have fun with over-the-top violence and dialogue and even music. This movie isn't likely to break massive ground or tell a story that pulls at your heart strings, but come on, who can possibly <i>not</i> be excited to see Hit-Girl take the screen once more with her deadly martial arts awesomeness? (<i>Lucas Siegel</i>.)

THE WORLD'S END

<b>Release date</b>: Oct. 25, 2013. <p>There are certain projects where all you need to do in order to convince them is say a couple of names and sit back, confident that everyone will understand. In this case, those names are "Simon Pegg" and "Edgar Wright," also the director of Marvel's <i>Ant-Man</i>, slated for 2015. <p><em>The World's End</em> is the third installment in their not-really-a trilogy together, following <em>Shawn of The Dead</em> and <em>Hot Fuzz</em>, and this time, they're going for the big one: The End of The World As We Know It. <p>Sadly - or not, depending on your point of view said apocalypse coincides with the attempt by five friends (Amongst them, Pegg and <em>Shawn</em>/<em>Hot Fuzz</em>/<em>Paul</em> co-star Nick Frost) to recreate a particularly legendary pub crawl from 20 years earlier. Twelve bars on their last night alive... What could go wrong? Oh, that's right: <em>Everything</em>. (<i>Graeme McMillan</i>.)

S.H.I.E.L.D.

<b>Release date</b>: Fall 2013 (tentative). <p>Yes, this isn't a movie, and is in fact a TV show. But it's spinning directly out of the Marvel Studios films, and if anything can trump a major movie in terms of anticipation, it's the prospect of a Joss Whedon-developed TV series set in the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. <p>Whedon broke new ground in TV with <i>Buffy the Vampire Slayer</i>, <i>Angel</i> and <i>Firefly</i>, and wrote and directed <i>The Avengers</i>, which exceeded both fan and financial expectations. Whedon, along with his frequent collaborators Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, is working on a TV show about S.H.I.E.L.D. and featuring fan-favorite Clark Gregg reprising his role as Agent Coulson, meaning that audiences might not have to wait until the 2015 sequel to witness a little more of that <i>Avengers</i> magic. <p>Of course, getting a show on network TV isn't an easy process no matter what high-profile talent or recognizable media properties are involved (remember David E. Kelley's <i>Wonder Woman</i>?), and there's still no guarantee that this will make it past the pilot stage at ABC, given that it's still got a long way to go at this point (the pilot is filming now). But if the stars do align for this project and <i>Avengers</i>' $1.5 billion worldwide total can't hurt its chances viewers could soon be getting a weekly dose of live-action Marvel for the first time in years, with key involvement from one of the top people most fans would likely want handling it. (<i>Albert Ching</i>.)

THE WOLVERINE

<b>Release date</b>: July 26, 2013. <p>Despite being a box office success, 2009's <i>X-Men Origins: Wolverine</I> could probably be most charitably described as a "misstep" among fans and critics. But people still enjoyed Hugh Jackman's iconic take on Wolverine, last spotted in a memorable <i>X-Men: First Class</i> cameo. <p>Even with Jackman on board, the prospect of another Wolverine solo movie might still make some nervous. But next year's <i>The Wolverine</i> is different by design. Though Darren Aronofsky was originally attached, the movie was directed by James Mangold, another unconventional choice for a superhero movie. Mangold's past output includes <i>Walk the Line</i> and <i>3:10 to Yuma</i>, and he previously worked with Jackman in the 2001 romantic comedy <i>Kate & Leopold</i>. <p>The movie is set in Japan familiar territory for the comic book version of Wolverine and is based on the classic 1982 miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller that kicked off the character's solo adventures apart from the X-Men. Fittingly, this film has dropped "X-Men" from the title, and (other than a rumored cameo by Famke Janssen as Jean Grey) appears to be purely a Wolverine solo mission which have proven to be pretty popular in the comics for the past 30 years, and might just work on screen. (<i>Albert Ching</i>.)

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

<b>Release date</b>: May 17, 2013. <p><b>Star Trek: Into Darkness</b> rated <i>very</i> high of three of our panelists lists, very low on another didn't appear at all on one list, which sort of sums up Star Trek in a nutshell despite its huge cultural footprint, for many years for many moviegoers, Trek was simply a cinematic non-entity. <p>Before 2009, Star Trek was a middling/marginal film franchise at best, but J.J. Abrams' winning, accessible reboot changed all that. And while it made a healthy $258 million at the domestic box office, this is a property that probably picked up a significant new fanbase on home video and is poised to break into monster-hit territory with the 2013 sequel. <p>Oh yeah, and Paramount brilliant's villain-guessing game campaign and a really sharp looking trailer has most of us looking forward to plopping down our $12 bucks for another ride on the Enterprise too. <p>Now that Abrams has officially been announced as the <i>Star Wars, Episode VII</i> director, the movie has a new level of anticipation around it as it very well might be the director's last go-around with <i>Trek</i>, and <i>Star Wars</i> fans' last chance to see more of what Abrams can bring to the table. (<i>Michael Doran</i>.)

THOR: THE DARK WORLD

<b>Release date</b>: Nov. 8, 2013. <p><em>Thor</em> director Kenneth Branagh may not be back for the sequel, but the surprising success of the first film has expectations high for the next adventure with Marvel's God of Thunder. <p>This time around, Thor battles a mysterious threat to Asgard and the universe as a whole while also contending with the diabolical machinations of Malekith the Accursed, played by former <em>Doctor Who</em> star Chris Eccleston. With Zachary Levi joining the cast as Fandral, and the return for one of the brightest stars of Marvel's movie-verse so far, Tom Hiddleston's Loki, there's a lot to like about the potential of <em>The Dark World</em>. <p>Add to that the possibility that <em>Thor</em> sequel will take the big, mid-credits reveal of <em>The Avengers</em> to its next logical progression, and this sequel could have the biggest implications for the greater Marvel movie-verse of all the upcoming solo films. (<i>Rick Marshall</i>.)

PACIFIC RIM

<b>Release date</b>: July 12, 2013. <p>Guillermo del Toro's film about giant, human-piloted robots that battle equally massive monsters has been in development so long now that many feared its outrageously ambitious scope would prevent it from ever arriving on the screen. <p>With the debut of the first teaser for the film just a few weeks ago, the project just became a lot more <em>real</em>, and we're apparently a lot closer to seeing the world-shaking robot-on-monster slugfest that we were promised early on. There's no denying del Toro's grasp of the visual side of the filmmaking, so the biggest question surrounding this project now becomes how he'll manage to squeeze in everything he wants this movie to be. <p>The <em>Hellboy</em> director has described the tomes of research he put into the project, but to be honest, we'll just be thrilled to see a fresh spin on the ol' Godzilla-style brawl between giant robots and giant monsters amid the wreckage of a modern city. (<i>Rick Marshall</i>.)

MAN OF STEEL

<b>Release date</b>: June 14, 2013. <p>For the most part, DC Comics has had a hard time of it when it comes to the big screen. Sure, Christopher Nolan managed to create a Batman trilogy that won over critics and fans alike, but the fates have been less kind to <em>Green Lantern</em>, <em>Jonah Hex</em>, <em>Watchmen</em> or <em>The Losers</em>, amongst many others. <p>All the more pressure on <em>Man of Steel</em> to do well, then; as if the prospect of a new Superman movie wasn't enough, especially in the wake of 2006's underperforming <em>Superman Returns</em>, next summer's cinematic rebirth for the Man of Tomorrow also has, it's been rumored, the unenviable task of jump-starting Warner Bros' much-anticipated <em>Justice League</em> franchise a year after Marvel's <em>The Avengers</em> has redefined the idea of superhero teams for a generation of moviegoers. <p>It's difficult to guess how <em>Man of Steel</em> will turn out: Sure, it has Nolan involved as producer, which is a good sign, but it also has <em>Watchmen</em>'s Zack Snyder as director, which likely makes many nervous. That first teaser trailer for the project probably didn't help calm jittery fans, being surprisingly understated and lacking any footage of Henry Cavill in the familiar Superman costume. Will <em>Man of Steel</em> live up to our expectations and hopes, or should we start preparing ourselves for another <i>Green Lantern</i>-esque round of disappointment? We'll know one way or another four months from now. Until then, look, up in the sky...! (<i>Graeme McMillan</i>.)

IRON MAN 3

<b>Release date</b>: May 3, 2013. <p>The first weekend of May has become the starting point for the summer blockbuster, and that's exactly why Marvel properties have locked it down for multiple years (<i>Avengers</i> in 2012, this one in 2013, Sony's <i>Amazing Spider-Man 2</i> in 2014, etc.). But <i>Iron Man 3</i> doesn't get the top spot just because of its position in the summer lineup. This movie gets No. 1 in our list because of its pressure and potential. <p>Unlike DC's big pic <i>Man of Steel</i>, which is starting from fresh as a reboot of the franchise, <i>Iron Man 3</i> carries the weight of not only being a threequel, but also being the first Marvel Studios film to follow-up on the $1.5 billion megasuccess of <i>Avengers</i>. <p>Why will Tony be fighting alone? Can "just" Iron Man carry a movie after he was alongside all those other larger-than-life characters? This also kicks off "Phase 2" for Marvel Studios, so how will it lead into <i>Thor: The Dark World</i>, <i>Captain America: The Winter Soldier</i>, <i>Guardians of the Galaxy</i>, and <i>Avengers 2</i>, if at all? <p>If anyone can show the moviegoing world why they should still care about a solo hero after the epic team-up, it's Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony Stark. With new armors, new-to-film classic villains, and an overall threat that's both bigger and more personal than what Stark has faced alone before, it sure <i>seems</i> like Marvel Studios knows what they have to do here. Equal parts pressure and potential, <i>Iron Man 3</i> is our most anticipated movie of 2013. (<i>Lucas Siegel</i>.)

Ranking Our Most Anticipated Movies of 2013 From 10 to 1

Date: 06 December 2012 Time: 08:59 PM ET