2011 was a good year for film. Good, but not great. One would think that the widespread fear of the end of the world would hustle some film-makers into their masterpieces. Some (The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius for instance) were able to make their marks before 11:59 tonight, but it seems that next year has more surprises in store than just the apocalypse.

I share many of these with my fellow movies editor Jeremy Baril, so if you haven’t yet read his list, we suggest reading it now. Ready? Okay, now you’re prepared for something slightly different.

First, we’ll begin with the Honorable Mentions:

  • Argo
  • The Bourne Legacy
  • Gravity
  • World War Z
  • Skyfall
  • Now for the PLATINUM Honorable Mentions:

  • LooperAn original story involving a hitman who has been hired to kill his future self directed by Brick helmer Rian Johnson. I’m on board.
  • Prometheus Just look at that teaser trailer. Seriously. Just look at it. I’m excited already and I haven’t even seen a single Alien film.
  • Men In Black III– I’ve always been a sucker for sequels that take place years after the original. I’m also a sucker for anything Josh Brolin decides to be a part of. Bring it on.
  • Kill Bin Laden Get this, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow was making this film about the NAVY Seal team that was planning to kill Osama Bin Laden before Seal Team 6 killed Osama Bin Laden. After the assassination, Bigelow chose to include Bin Laden’s final moments in the film, and now she can slap the highly coveted “Based on a true story” label on the poster.
  • Paranormal Activity 4 I know, the IMDB link claims that it isn’t coming until 2014 but since Paranormal Activity 3 left room for another sequel, we can safely assume that Paramount will mount another just in time for Halloween. What are they gonna do, just drop their most successful horror franchise? They are cheap to make and audiences are gobbling them up like they are going out of style.
  • #10 Ted

    Seth McFarlane has gotten some flack over the past few years about the inevitable unfunniness of his brainchild Family Guy. Now Fox has milked his brain for all it is worth with American Dad and The Cleveland Show. There is no denying that Seth McFarlane is a very funny guy. Anyone who grew up watching the first few seasons of Family Guy and the more recent seasons of American Dad could tell you that.

    In fact, Family Guy stopped being funny the moment American Dad starting really getting laughs. Coincidence? I think McFarlane can only throw his magic touch into one project at a time, and it might be safe to say that his first upcoming feature film, written and directed by himself, might have a taste of that old school Seth McFarlane humor.

    Ted, according to creator Seth McFarlane, will follow a demented teddy bear (voiced by McFarlane) as it torments it’s owners Mila Kunis and Mark Whalberg. It sounds a little cliche, but here’s to hoping that the most successful comedian of our generation will make a glorious return to true comedy next year.

    Ted will come alive on July 13th, 2012.

    #9 The Hunger Games

    Okay, before I get flamed from every possible angle, you should all know that I am still on Chapter 4 of The Hunger Games. Those of you following my “Read The Hunger Games With Jimmy” series have been incredibly patient and I thank all of you for that. I plan on continuing the series, and I still plan on fulfilling my promise to finish my analysis of the book before the premiere.

    The trailer alone is enough to peak anyone’s interest in the film. The thought of something so brutal, so young, so modern and yet so frighteningly imaginable stirs the imagination. I already know that the book doesn’t shy away from what would actually happen in the circumstances that these characters are placed in, and I can only hope that the film version has the balls to do justice to the source material.

    The cast looks magnificent, the visuals presented in the trailer sold the ideal, and even though director Gary Ross has a past of soft and fluffy films like Big and (to a lesser extent) Seabiscuit, fellow screenwriter Billy Ray (State of Play, Breach, Suspect Zero) is sure to bring on the violence the way author Suzanne Collins (also credited as a screenwriter) intended.

    The Hunger Games will begin on March 23, 2012.

    #8 Seven Psychopaths

    Following his 2008 critical hit In Bruges (which, aside from being a Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire reunion also happens to be my own personal favorite movie of all time) long-time playwright Martin McDonagh has finally decided to follow his masterpiece with another film, again starring Collin Farrel who won the Golden Globe for his last partnership with the writing genius.

    The script leaked early last year, and although I haven’t read it (I intentionally spoil every other movie for myself by working at Hypable, why would I want to spoil this one?), those that have read it have chosen it to occupy a place of honor on their lists of the most anticipated movies of 2012.

    The photo I’ve used above has nothing to do with Seven Psychopaths and is actually a screenshot from In Bruges. If that’s not an indicator of exactly why I’m excited to see McDonagh and Farrel team up again then I don’t even know what to say. Last time it was about hitmen, this time it is about a screenwriter, a psychopath, and a dog.

    Seven Psychopaths will be released whenever it feels like it. (The actual date has not been set, but it is slated for a 2012 release.)

    #7 The Great Gatsby

    It has been years since I’ve opened The Great Gatsby, but the way that it portrayed the roaring twenties has stuck with me through the years. This will be a special treat for me, because with the exception of a few shocking events near the middle and end of the novel, I don’t very well remember every single event.

    In an instance of perfect casting, Leonardo diCaprio and Carey Mulligan have been cast as Gatsby and Daisy. To be honest, half of the reason I am so excited for this adaptation is to see Mulligan as Daisy. She has been knocking her roles out of the park for the past three years and no one could have cast the essential character better, although the choice of director (Baz Luhrmann) is a little peculiar to me even though I am an enormous fan of his.

    I seem to remember hearing reports early last year that he was planning to shoot the film in 3D, and that seemed to indicate that he would indeed be using his standard ostentatious directing method with this interpretation of the classic novel. The photos that have emerged from the set have looked perfect so far, but here’s to hoping that we wont see any green absinthe fairies in West Egg.

    The Great Gatsby will roar into theaters on December 25th, 2012.

    #6 Django Unchained

    No official artwork for Quentin Tarantino’s next film has yet been released, but artists all over the internet have given a poster for Django Unchained the good ol’ college try. This just goes to show that people all over the world are waiting for the follow up to Inglourious Basterds, which Tarantino had dubbed as his “masterpiece”.

    One could say that Tarantino has been slowly building up his fan base with every film that he makes, the landmarks being Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds. Now with Django Unchained, Tarantino takes an all-star cast (with the likes of Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Cristoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sacha Baron Cohen and Kurt Russel) and sets them in what he calls a true Southern tale.

    According to Tarantino, the world is full of Westerns, but this will be an authentic Southern that tells the story of a liberated slave that, with the help of a German bounty hunter, will try to rescue his wife from the cruel owners of the plantation.

    I would have seen this movie if you had just given me the cast list, but after Tarantino finally won me over with the masterful Basterds (we’ve had a love hate relationship for the past decade or so), the fact that he wrote and directed this just makes me all the more excited to see it on opening night.

    Django Unchained will be released on December 25th, 2012.

    #5 Les Miserables

    Not even musical theater nerds can agree on Les Miserables. Believe it or not, there are some out there that just don’t like it. Personally, it is the most powerful musical I have ever seen. It masterfully weaves several stories, each dealing with love and sacrifice, during the wake of the French Revolution. Although the book has been adapted into a non-musical form fairly recently, many a film-maker has glanced at this daring gargantuan musical and has swiftly said “no thanks”.

    It’s a daunting task, adapting what can be arguably called the greatest musical of all-time to the screen. Recent Best Director winner Tom Hooper seems to think that he has the chops to make people all over the world sob hysterically in their local theaters. He took the job, hired an all-star cast including Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, and reports now indicate that he may film the required singing live on-camera, a move that has earned him accolades not only from me, but from musical theater buffs everywhere.

    There are some that think that it simply can’t be done. Yes, there is a very distinct possibility that the three hour musical might not live up to expectations, but as of now I can’t think of a team that I would rather have than Hooper and company.

    Les Miserables will flood theaters on December 7th, 2012.

    #4 The Hobbit

    The Hobbit was my favorite book for four solid years. Before I got my hands on the Harry Potter series, I found myself getting lost in Middle-Earth every couple of months or so. I was (at the time) unable to penetrate Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, so I found it particularly awesome when The Fellowship of the Ring came out before film-makers really thought about giving The Hobbit a try. It was truly indescribable to have a world I was so familiar with suddenly come to life on the big screen, and it was even more fascinating that it told a story that I legitimately had never heard before.

    As soon as whispers of The Hobbit started echoing through Hollywood, my inner child had to be stifled. What if they ruin it? What if it doesn’t live up to The Lord of the Rings? What if it doesn’t live up to it’s paper and ink counterpart? All of these questions were running through my head until evil genius Guillermo Del Toro signed on to direct. Frankly, I was curious how Del Toro’s vision would fit into Jackson’s pre-established Middle-Earth. Would it change, and if so would the changes be justified? I love Guillermo, so when his vision hit troubled waters I was understandably worried.

    Enter Peter Jackson, cape billowing in the wind, to take the reigns of Middle-Earth once again. Under Jackson’s rule, 90% of the original LOTR cast agreed to come back for cameos, and every Hobbit fan breathed a heaving sigh of relief knowing that they would return to Middle-Earth the same way they did back at the turn of the millenium. Now the trailer has come out, and most Tolkien-philes can rest easy knowing that their baby is safe in the hands of Jackson.

    The Hobbit will leave the Shire on December 14th, 2012.

    #3 Lincoln

    No, I’m not just excited for Lincoln because Daniel Day-Lewis bears a freakishly uncanny resemblance to my favorite president. I’m excited because: A) Daniel Day-Lewis is simply and mathematically the best actor to grace the silver screen since Marlon Brando, B) Stephen Spielberg is widely known as the best director of the past 40 years, C) It is based on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln written by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Goodwin, and D) The screenplay was penned by Emmy, Tony and Pulitzer prize winning playwright Tony “he wrote freaking Angels in America” Kushner, John “The Gladiator” Logan, and Paul “this is my first screenplay, I’m just a FREAKING ABRAHAM LINCOLN HISTORIAN” Webb.


    Also, this picture of Daniel Day-Lewis wearing the Abraham Lincoln hat.

    As if this wasn’t enough reason to get excited, we already know that this project has been in Spielberg’s brain for over a decade. He was always talking about it, has worked his mind around every possible angle of it, and now he’s finally working on it and has cast every single good actor in the world to work with him on the project.

    So I guess now one question remains: Will Lincoln win every Oscar or just a handful?

    Lincoln will conquer the South on December 25th, 2012.

    #2 The Dark Knight Rises

    Unless Gone With The Wind is planning on releasing a sequel anytime soon, it might be safe to say that The Dark Knight Rises could be the most anticipated sequel of all time (now that the Harry Potter movies are done with). Fans ofThe Dark Knight were devastated when director Christopher Nolan straight up said that unless he was possessed by a truly worthy idea, the Dark Knight legacy would fall one movie short. According to Nolan, he would have rather it end at The Dark Knight if the alternative was a half-hearted threequel.

    Just as many fans justifiably jumped out of their skins when Nolan announced that not only was he planning on making a sequel, but that fan favorite Bane would be the last villain to terrorize Gotham in Christopher Nolan’s vision. Although there are still bat-fans out there that are questioning his casting choices (remember when we weren’t sure about that Brokeback Mountain actor playing the Joker?), it might just be safer to sit tight and trust that Nolan (like Batman himself) will do Gotham City justice. ‘

    As if we weren’t already excited, the six minute prologue released in IMAX convinced this writer that Nolan may have hit another one out of the park, and the trailer released shortly thereafter showed the world exactly how Bane could top The Dark Knight‘s diabolical Joker.

    The Dark Knight Rises will appear in theaters on July 20th, 2012

    #1 The Avengers

    Yes, my two most anticipated movies of the year are comic book movies. Big whoop. Wannafightaboutit? Before I am disbarred and excommunicated from the film critic society (an actual thing), take these words into your brain.

    First. Time. In. History. That’s how many times in cinematic history four major characters from four separate movies have come together for one gigantic megafilm. Fanboys were worshiping this movie before they even knew it was being made, half of them still can’t even believe that it’s actually happening, and this was all before nerd-deity Joss Whedon was crowned as writer/director of the beastly project.

    I have often called Joss Whedon the most creative person in Hollywood. Anyone who loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer can tell you that if there is someone who can write and direct the shit out of a movie about super-humans, it’s this guy. Who wasn’t angry through the roof when his genius brainchild Firefly was unjustly cancelled? Who among us has seen Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog more than eighteen times? I’m not saying the guy can do no wrong (I’m looking at you, Dollhouse), but if there is someone we can trust with the Avengers, it’s this guy. I mean, nerds, he’s one of us.

    Then the trailer came out, and anyone that doubted if the lead characters of four distinctly separate films would mix well were quickly shut up by an awesome 8 second exchange between Captain America and Tony Stark. Listeners of HeroHype know that just seeing the characters occupy the same space was enough to make true fanboys wet their pants with excitement.

    I still can’t believe it’s actually happening.

    The Avengers will assemble on May 3rd, 2012.

    So what do you think? Was there anything I missed?  What are your most anticipated films of 2012?

    DCOM marathon schedule: See full list of movies and when they air

    The mega marathon begins Friday, May 27 and runs into June!

    10:00 am EDT, May 27, 2016

    The highly-anticipated Disney Channel Original Movie marathon began Friday, May 27 at 10 a.m. eastern and runs through the holiday weekend. See the complete DCOM marathon schedule here!

    When Disney Channel says they’re running a DCOM marathon, they mean it. The network will be airing 51 DCOMs from Friday to Monday ahead of this summer’s release of their 100th DCOM, Adventures in Babysitting (debuting June 24). Who needs Memorial Day festivities when you can sit inside and enjoy Disney Channel classics all weekend?!

    After Monday they’ll continue to air a couple more movies every night until they eventually air all 100 DCOMs. That’s right! Every single one of ’em is returning to television between now and late June.

    Below is the complete list of DCOMs airing from Friday, May 27 into the middle of June. Since many are airing in the overnight hours, you’ll probably want to set up your DVR. Or in case you want to watch them again. And again.

    DCOM Marathon Schedule

    Friday, May 27

    10:00AM Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama
    11:20AM Read It and Weep
    12:55PM Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
    2:40PM Jump In!
    4:15PM Lemonade Mouth
    6:15PM Zapped
    8:00PM High School Musical 2
    9:55PM The Cheetah Girls 2
    11:45PM Zenon the Zequel
    1:25AM Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
    2:55AM Twitches Too
    4:25AM Alley Cats Strike!

    Saturday, May 28

    6:25AM You Wish!
    8:05AM The Proud Family Movie
    9:50AM Quints
    11:25AM Horse Sense
    1:10PM Cow Belles
    2:50PM Twitches
    4:30PM The Even Stevens Movie
    6:15PM Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie
    8:00PM Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
    9:50PM Princess Protection Program
    11:30PM The Cheetah Girls: One World
    1:05AM Zenon: Z3
    2:40AM Halloweentown High
    4:20AM The Thirteenth Year

    Netflix DCOMs High School Musical

    Sunday, May 29

    6:00AM Right On Track
    7:45AM Full-Court Miracle
    9:35AM Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off
    11:20AM Brink!
    1:10PM Double Teamed
    2:55PM Rip Girls
    4:35PM Motocrossed
    6:20PM Cloud 9
    8:00PM Teen Beach 2
    9:55PM Bad Hair Day
    11:40PM How to Build a Better Boy
    1:20AM Pixel Perfect
    2:55AM The Other Me
    4:30AM Genius

    Monday, May 30

    10:00AM Stuck in the Suburbs
    11:30AM Halloweentown
    1:05PM Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century
    2:55PM Smart House
    4:25PM High School Musical
    6:15PM Camp Rock
    8:00PM Descendants
    10:05PM Teen Beach Movie
    11:55PM Cadet Kelly
    1:50AM The Cheetah Girls
    3:35AM Johnny Tsunami

    Camp Rock DCOM

    After Memorial Day Weekend, Disney Channel will air two more DCOMs each night. Here’s the schedule so far (again, set your DVRs because these air late!)

    Wednesday, June 1
    12:00AM Return to Halloweentown
    1:40AM Can of Worms

    Thursday, June 2
    12:00AM Going to the Mat
    1:40AM Miracle in Lane 2

    Friday, June 3
    12:00AM The Suite Life Movie
    1:40AM Ring of Endless Light

    Saturday, June 4
    12:00AM Invisible Sister
    1:40AM Now You See It…

    Sunday, June 5
    12:00AM Girl vs. Monster
    1:40AM Phantom of Megaplex

    Monday, June 6
    12:00AM Tru Confessions
    1:40AM Tiger Cruise

    Tuesday, June 7
    12:00AM Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire
    1:40AM Under Wraps

    Wednesday, June 8
    12:00AM Den Brother
    1:40AM Go Figure

    Thursday, June 9
    12:00AM Avalon High
    1:40AM Jett Jackson: The Movie

    Friday, June 10 and beyond
    As of right now Disney Channel hasn’t released the schedule beyond June 10.

    Which DCOMs do you plan to watch during the Disney Channel Marathon?

    Next week we’ll be launching a fun new game here on Hypable where we’ll seek your help in ranking every single DCOM in the history of DCOMs. It’s probably a good idea to watch as many of these as possible so you can brush up on your knowledge base and rank them accurately!

    James Cameron’s Battle Angel adaptation has found its lead in Maze Runner standout Rosa Salazar.

    According to Collider, Salazar has been officially confirmed as the lead in Alita: Battle Angel, beating out Maika Monroe and Zendaya for the titular role. The manga adaptation was developed by James Cameron, and will be directed by Robert Rodriguez.

    Battle Angel Alita is a manga series by Yukito Kishiro, which takes place in the 26th century and follows a cyborg girl with amnesia. Designed with spectacular martial arts skills, Battle Angel becomes a bounty hunter, who makes a living tracking down violent criminals.

    As Brenda in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Lynn in Insurgent, Rosa Salazar is already well-known in dystopian YA circles. She’s also had recurring roles in Parenthood and American Horror Story, and you can currently catch her in FXX’s Man Seeking Woman.

    alita

    James Cameron has been tinkering with this project for a while, but his extensive and all-consuming work on the Avatar sequels led him to hand over directorial duties to Robert Rodriguez last year. Rodriguez previously served as showrunner on From Dusk Till Dawn (after directing the movie of the same name in 1996), and his versatile directorial resumé includes Sin City, Spy Kids and The Faculty.

    When Cameron picked Rodriguez as Battle Angel director, he said in a statement, “Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do Battle Angel. He’s very collaborative and we’re already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically.

    “This project is near and dear to me, and there’s nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We’re looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic.”

    Alita: Battle Angel has no release date yet, but we’ll keep you posted. Here’s the official synopsis from IMDb:

    “Alita is a creation from an age of despair. Found by the mysterious Dr. Ido while trolling for cyborg parts, Alita becomes a lethal, dangerous being. She cannot remember who she is, or where she came from. But to Dr. Ido, the truth is all too clear. She is the one being who can break the cycle of death and destruction left behind from Tiphares. But to accomplish her true purpose, she must fight and kill. And that is where Alita’s true significance comes to bear. She is an angel from heaven. She is an angel of death.”

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to continue Harry, Ron and Hermione’s story. Downside: The characters that survived Deathly Hallows are suddenly no longer safe!

    Details about Cursed Child, the Harry Potter play opening in London next month, are being kept tightly under wraps.

    But one teaser J.K. Rowling did let slip? It’s designed to make you cry.

    Answering the Twitter question, “Will the Cursed Child make me cry?” Rowling strongly implied that the answer is yes — “or we’ll be checking your vital signs.”

    Bombarded with worried follow-up questions, Rowling (randomly) chose to answer “why are you like this” by reminding fans of what she believes her primary responsibility is as an author: To make us feel things.

    Of course there’s no reason to assume the “OMG RON IS DEFINITELY DYING AKSDJFSHFJ” position (even if that is the first instinct of this writer), but it is an indisputable fact that for many authors — Rowling included — evocative storytelling is synonymous with, “I’m going to make you love something, and then I’m gonna kill it.”

    Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the conclusion of the Harry Potter saga. Not only are there many elderly characters we might reasonably fear for (including McGonagall, Hagrid, and Molly and Arthur Weasley), but J.K. Rowling’s Potter series has set a strong precedent for killing off parental figures to usher in a new generation of characters.

    Related: England’s biggest bookstore announces first Cursed Child midnight release party

    On the other hand, we could just be traumatized by the original Potter series, and everything is actually gonna be fine. Maybe J.K. Rowling simply expects us to cry tears of happiness because we get to return to the fantastic, magical world she has created.

    What do you think? Is someone we love dying in Cursed Child, or will the plot make us emotional in other ways?