The New Year is wide open with comics firing on all cylinders in the
upper echelons of superhero comics to the vibrant field of modern
comics. But who rests at the top? Who are the biggest and brightest –
who are the ones who pose to make 2009 a breakout year for themselves?
From characters to comics to creators, and even to the wider spectrum
of television and movies – who will be the breakout stars?
Newsarama gathered the facts, analyzed the fiction and reviewed the
rumors to delineate who we think will the top – the 9 to Watch in '09.
All this week, we'll be picking out the 9 To Watch in '09 in five
categories: comic characters, comic creators, comic series/books,
movies and television shows. The first three are clearly
comics-centric, while the last two are wide open.
We've made it through to the final installment of speculative feasting
on the pop culture to be had here in 2009: movies. From budgets big to
small, there are a variety of films to look out for. These are films we
think are worth standing in line for the night before to catch the
first screening. It's a mixture of sequels, revivals with a few
original creations to be had. Sit down in your bucket seat and see
what's coming on the silver screen.
The long-awaited return of the Enterprise to the big screen – a place
it hasn’t been seen since since 2002. This new J.J. Abrams-helmed
series reboots…restarts…re-somehtings? the classic continuity with the
formation of the classic Enterprise cast: consider it Star Trek: Year One.
Although rumors say it's not a full reboot but is connected to the
original continuity, it is new people playing all of the classic
characters. The trailer is out and appetites are whetted. The question
is this: will it be as good as it should be? It looks like it could, even if Khan isn't in it.G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
This is my personal pick for the breakout movie of the year. Following in the footsteps of toy-turned-movie of Transformers from 2007, G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra
combines a deep-held nostalgia for G.I. Joe with a top notch director
and cast. For those in-the-know for all things G.I. Joe, this movie is
an origin story showing the rise of COBRA and Cobra Commander. The
script was written by Stuart Bettie, the screenwriter for the original Pirates of the Caribbean, and directed by Stephen Sommers of The Mummy. So dust off your original G.I. Joe toys and get ready for all-out action.
For some families, the yearly arrival of Pixar films has become a
centerpiece to a night out at the theater – the same way that Disney
films used to be held in high regard – maybe that's why Disney bought
Pixar. In the upcoming film Up,
an elderly man fulfills a promise to his recently departed wife to
travel across the world, so the life-long city dweller takes to the
skies – taking him, his house and a chubby eight-year-old tag-along on
thrilling adventures. The film continues a bold streak for Pixar, this
time having a main character who is a senior citizen when most major
movies focus on teenagers or children. And in a start of a coming trend
for Pixar, this film will also be available in 3-D at its opening.
This film turns the camera on the fans of sci-fi and comic books as a
group of friends embark on a journey to break into Lucasfilm
headquarters to see an advance copy of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.
Highly awaited by many, the film has experienced numerous delays due to
reshoots but is now on schedule for February 6, 2009. Star Wars, Star
Trek and more…. and Kristen Bell in the Princess Leia gold bikini.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
No, this isn't an adaptation of the Wolverine comic Origins, but is more of Barry Windsor-Smith's meets Chris Claremont's own Wolverine stories from Weapon X meets Chris Claremont's own Wolverine stories from Uncanny X-Men with enough guest-stars to make it feel like a mutant version of Love Boat. Hugh Jackman himself led up production of this movie, and enlisted Rendition director Gavin Hood to tell about the origins of Wolverine. Set roughly twenty years before the original X-Men
movie, it will focus on the Weapon X program and Wolverine's early
interactions with Sabretooth, William Stryker as well as debuts from
the Blob, Deadpool and Gambit. After the critically disappointing X3: X-Men United
movie, this movie could make things right. And Jackman has said that if
this one does well, ninjas are in Logan's future for a sequel.
The seminal mature comic book of all time – directed by Zack Snyder (300).
Everyone wants to see it – but will the studios let it come out?
Assuming it will, the movie's promotion is as the high-water mark for
comics to date and has become a must-see for even non-comics fans.
Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince
The sixth film in the Harry Potter series and features a returned
Voldemort closing in on lording over both the Mugle and wizarding
worlds. As Dumbledore prepares for a final battle with Voldemort, the
children cope with the ever-dangerous world while dealing with each
other as they grow up under the stress. Director David Yates returns
from the previous iteration to direct this outing, and scripter Steve
Kloves returns after missing the fifth film. We've been promised to see
more of a young Voldemort, Harry's powers growing and the blooming
romance between all of the teenagers in the story. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
For those that loved the original, this sequel promises to be more of
the same with the addition of new robots from the classic continuity.
Director Michael Bay and original screenwriters Robert Orci and Alex
Kurtzman return, as do Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox and the robots from
the original. Terminator: Salvation
For a story about time-traveling killer robots, can a prequel be set in
the future? Given the quality that looks to be coming with Terminator: Salvation, okay. This fourth Terminator
film stars Christian Bale as John Conner in the year 2018 as he begins
to rise the ranks to become the hero that he's fated to be. With him is
a young Kyle Reese, the hero from the original film, and the two come
to see that their time has been altered by the appearance of a new
Terminator. This McG-directed film has already released a trailer that
has almost washed away the memory of the 3rd film and set the table for
what could be the greatest Terminator movie yet.In The Corner Of Our Eye:
There's more films out there than even we can keep track of – from homegrown to foreign movies coming to the U.S. (Is 20th Century Boys
coming to America this year?). But while we did narrow it down to 9 for
our list, there were several more we couldn't leave without mentioning.
The Wolfman – Benicio del Toro as the Wolfman. Talk about a role that’s squarely in his wheelhouse.Dragonball – This is a must-see movie, despite how –off—the trailer looks.
2012 - In some ways a thematic sequel to The Day After Tomorrow,
this Roland Emmerich film takes a look to the year 2012 when a
cataclysm forces the survivors to – how better can to say it? – survive.Kick-Ass – Mark Millar's pre-teen pugilism spectacle. And hey, McLovin is in it.Drag Me To Hell – Haven't heard about it? It's Sam Raimi returning to his horror roots from his Evil Dead days. Not much is known besides that, but that's enough to buy a ticket.Public Enemies – Johnny Depp & Christian Bale in a
Michael Mann movie about a Great Depression era attempt by the FBI to
stop notorious mobsters? You had us at…hell, we’re just there.
But...that’s just us...and there are many, many close calls to this
list... What say you? What
book is poised to make 2009 its year? Not just a name – get your
reasons in there as well...Related: A Watchmen UpdateThe Latest Terminator: Salvation Trailer DebutsHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer