Collider’s Most Anticipated 2012 Movies: April to June

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Earlier this year, we here at Collider brought you our most anticipated films of the first quarter.  2012 has gotten off to a promising start with more than a few gems, and now it’s time to look to the next three months of the year.  Matt, Adam, Brendan, and Dave have each picked their top five films for the next installment of our Most Anticipated series, providing a brief explanation for why these films are on our radar and what has us excited.  Hit the jump to check out our picks, along with information on the cast and plot for each film.

Matt’s Picks

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SOUND OF MY VOICE

Director: Zal Batmanglij

Cast: Brit Marling, Christopher Denham, and Nicole Vicius

Release Date: April 27

Why I’m Excited: I’ve been waiting for this one since I missed it at Sundance 2011.  I’ve only heard three things about the movie: 1) Rising star Brit Marling (Another Earth) plays a cult leader; 2) The film is amazing; 3) Go into it as cold as possible.  I haven’t watched the trailer or the first 12 minutes of the movie.  I’m going in accepting only a premise, and the positive word-of-mouth from people I trust.

THE AVENGERS

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Director: Joss Whedon

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, and Samuel L. Jackson

Release Date: May 4th

Why I’m Excited: Nothing like this movie has ever been done before on this scale.  Blockbusters can have spin-offs, but five movies went towards building The Avengers.  Fans have responded to all of the lead-up films with varying levels of positivity, but the lead actors have received almost nothing but praise.  Judging by the trailers and TV spots, the film only seems to have one major set piece, which means the rest of the film is the cast interacting and talking with each other.  I’m absolutely fine with that.  I like these characters, and I’d much rather see scenes where they’re grow and develop as opposed to soulless, hollow action featuring superheroes who stopped developing at their individual pictures.  Obviously, the movie needs to strike a balance between action and character development, but all the talent is there to strike that balance.

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

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Director: Rupert Sanders

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, and Sam Claflin

Release Date: June 1st

Why I’m Excited: A year ago, I was groaning over not one, but two Snow White movies.  I’ve already been pleasantly surprised by the first one (Mirror Mirror), but that was because it had an absolutely atrocious marketing campaign.  Snow White and the Huntsman, on the other hand, has looked intriguing and spectacular with every new trailer and TV spot.  Director Rupert Sanders has found a way to play his re-imagining completely straight and epic even though it’s using a fairy tale as its basis.  There appears to be not only a grand vision behind Snow White and the Huntsman, but one that’s been thoughtfully realized.  Also: All Hail Shatterbeast.

PROMETHEUS

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Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, and Charlize Theron

Release Date: June 8th

Why I’m Excited: A director returning to a beloved franchise is always a risky proposition.  It didn’t work out for George Lucas and Star Wars and Steven Spielberg for Indiana Jones.  But Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s return to the world of Alien, looks like a welcome homecoming.  That’s probably due in part to the fact that Prometheus isn’t a straight-up prequel.  The other part comes from looking like a truly chilling sci-fi horror film that would be worth seeing even if it had nothing to do with Alien.  It’s been a while since we’ve seen sci-fi horror done on this scale, and the movie looks better with every new image, TV spot, and trailer.

BRAVE

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Director: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

Cast: Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, and Robbie Coltrane

Release Date:  June 22nd

Why I’m Excited: After the crushing disappointment of Cars 2, we’re all ready for Pixar to bounce back in a big way, and Brave has the potential to deliver.  The movie has a couple of firsts for the successful animation studio.  It’s the first Pixar film to feature a female protagonist, and it’s their first fairy tale.  The trailers have been a bit uneven, with some showing off goofy, all-ages comedy, and others showing off some enchanting mysticism.  While Cars 2 and Toy Story 3 were massive commercial successes for Pixar, Brave will hopefully be a return to the relatively-unconventional material of WALL-E, Up, and Ratatouille.

Adam’s Picks

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THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

Director: Drew Goddard

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchinson, Jesse Williams, Bradley Whitford, and Richard Jenkins.

Release Date: April 13

Why I’m Excited: Buzz on this film has been intense ever since it premiered at this year’s SXSW.  Goddard co-wrote the script with fanboy god Joss Whedon, and the two have apparently crafted a horror film that manages to satirize and comment on the state of the genre in an incredibly entertaining way.  I’m not exactly a horror nut, but I was a huge fan of Scream and I’m highly intrigued to see another twist on the genre.  If the prospect of Whedon, Goddard, and a crackerjack script wasn’t enough, Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins—two guys who are swell in just about anything—star in two “mysterious” roles.

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THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Cast: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, David Paymer, Jacki Weaver and Mimi Kennedy

Release Date: April 27

Why I’m Excited: I’m a sucker for sharp romantic comedies.  One of the best in recent years was 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which teamed writer/star Jason Segel with director Nicholas Stoller.  The two reunite once again for The Five-Year Engagement, with a stacked supporting cast to boot.  I downright loved the film’s first trailer, and Segel and Stoller said both Annie Hall and When Harry Met Sally were big influences on the film.  Sarah Marshall was unbelievably funny while still managing to remain emotionally grounded, so I’ve got high hopes that Stoller and Segel have expanded on that tone with Five-Year Engagement to take yet another entertaining look at relationships.

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MOONRISE KINGDOM

Director: Wes Anderson

Cast: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Jared Gilman, and Kara Hayward.

Release Date: May 25

Why I’m Excited: Though I found The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to be a bit of a misfire, I thought writer/director Wes Anderson’s one-two punch of The Darjeeling Limited and Fantastic Mr. Fox were terrific and I’m eager to see him continue his streak with Moonrise Kingdom.  The cast is incredible and the first trailer was charming as all get-up.  I’m aware that not everyone is a fan of Anderson’s style, and if it’s not your thing then Moonrise Kingdom is unlikely to convert you, but the film’s trailer was right up my alley.  I like the 1960s setting, I love the summer camp atmosphere, and the thought of Bruce Willis spewing Wes Anderson dialogue nearly has me giddy.  The pic has all the ingredients of a great time at the movies, and I’m sincerely hoping Anderson knocks another one out of the park.

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PROMETHEUS

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Logan Marshall-Green, Idris Elba and Guy Pearce.

Release Date: June 8

Why I’m Excited: Though Prometheus has been on my radar for quite some time now, my excitement for the film hit a fever pitch when that WonderCon trailer was released.  Scott appears to have taken all the elements that made Alien so great and expanded upon them with an original, interesting twist.  Instead of making an easy cash-grab action sci-fi pic, the trailers evoke a true sense of dark horror and hint at deeper themes about humanity itself.  The cast is fantastic, the atmosphere and set design are impressive (based on what we’ve seen), and I can’t wait to sit back and become absorbed by the film this June.

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BRAVE

Director: Mark Andrews

Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and Julie Walters.

Release Date: June 22

Why I’m Excited: Last year’s Cars 2 was a fairly dark time for Pixar, everyone’s favorite animation studio.  While the anthropomorphic automobile sequel may be a pretty low bar to clear, the latest trailers and clips from Brave, the studio’s 2012 release, hint at something much more akin to the Pixar we know and love.  The visuals are great, the characters seem interesting, and there are 100% less potty jokes in the trailer.  Moreover, the film marks the studio’s first fairy tale and first film with a female protagonist; if anyone can craft a smart, strong-willed role model for women young and old, it’s Pixar.  Though I’m still a little wary given how disappointing last year’s outing was, I have high hopes that Brave will be nearly enough to wipe Cars 2 clear from memory. Nearly.

 

Brendan’s Picks

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THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Cast: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, David Paymer, Jacki Weaver, and Mimi Kennedy

Release Date: April 27

Why I’m Excited: I love the two previous collaborations between Segel and Stoller in The Muppets and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  Segel and Blunt are among my very favorite actors, and I’ve really enjoyed watching them make the transition from supporting actors to romantic leads.  Throw in a great supporting cast (Brie! Pratt! Weaver!) and I’m eager to see the latest entry in the Segel/Stoller trilogy.

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SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

Director: Rupert Sanders

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Toby Jones, Ian McShane, Nick Frost, Lily Cole, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Bob Hoskins

Release Date: June 1

Why I’m Excited: This is the slot for the Blockbuster That I Was Initially Skeptical About, Then Wary But Excited.  It was either Battleship or Snow White and the Huntsman, and ultimately Huntsman won due to the better trailers.  It looks both dazzling and brutal, and Sanders has convinced me that I need to see his directorial debut on the big screen.

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BRAVE

Director: Mark Andrews

Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and Julie Walters

Release Date: June 22

Why I’m Excited: The streak had to end eventually, so Pixar got it out of their system last summer with the very lucrative Cars 2.  Everyone’s favorite animation studio is poised for a big comeback with Brave, which looks different than anything they’ve done before.  The visuals of the Highlands are impossibly lush, and this ardent Trainspotting fan will always root for Macdonald (and her Scottish accent) at the center of a feminist fairy tale.

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THE AVENGERS

Director: Joss Whedon

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg

Release Date: May 4

Why I’m Excited: This is not a controversial opinion.  I write for a geek-friendly movie website that has posted approximately 500 articles on The Avengers and upwards of 3000 on all things Marvel.  Yet my Marvel devotion is pretty well represented by the fact that I’ve seen neither Hulk movie.  Rather, my interest perked up when Whedon joined the project.  The assembly of The Avengers is no enviable task, but even if it doesn’t come together on the whole, Whedon gives me hope this will become the funniest superhero movie out there.

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SOUND OF MY VOICE

Director: Zal Batmanglij

Cast: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling, Richard Wharton, and Christy Meyers

Release Date: April 27

Why I’m Excited: I honestly know very little about Sound of My Voice.  It was a hit at Sundance and SXSW.  Sundance darling Brit Marling is in it.  The plot involves a cult, and I think there might be something about time travel in there?  I knew early enough I want to see it, so I tried to stay away from the promotional materials in the year-plus since Sundance 2011.  Well, Sound of My Voice is finally here, and now I get to see just how time travel-y it is.

 

Dave’s Picks

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THE AVENGERS

Director: Joss Whedon

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg

Release Date: May 4

Why I’m Excited: Seriously?  It’s only cinematic history’s biggest assembly of superheroes onscreen at one time!  Fanboy feelings aside, it’s impressive to see how Marvel’s campaign, which started with 2008’s Iron Man, has progressed and evolved over the years to culminate in The Avengers. No small task, to be sure.  And while the superheroic egos will be battling it out to see who gets the most audience attention, I’m fully anticipating a best-in-show performance with Hiddleston’s turn as the villainous Loki.

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SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

Director: Rupert Sanders

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Toby Jones, Ian McShane, Nick Frost, Lily Cole, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Bob Hoskins

Release Date: June 1

Why I’m Excited: I did not expect to be excited for this movie at all, but my opinion changed after viewing some early footage at WonderCon.  A fierce and defiant Stewart looks like she’s ready to own the rebellious role of Snow White and Theron’s Queen just makes evil look good. I’m looking forward to the showdown between these two. Also, even though Hemsworth’s Huntsman hasn’t been a major marketing focus, Sanders had great comments on the actor’s emotive performance (and with The Avengers and Cabin in the Woods also opening up this quarter, this is Hemsworth’s time to shine.)

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PROMETHEUS

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce

Release Date: June 8

Why I’m Excited: As if the return of Ridley Scott to sci-fi wasn’t enough, this Alien-flavored prequel has a fantastic cast to boot! I didn’t need to see the trailer at WonderCon, the film’s viral campaign or a slew of new images to get excited for Prometheus.  As a huge fan of the entire Alien series (yes, the entire thing), I’m beyond anxious for Scott to fill in the untold part of the mythology.

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ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Cast: Benjamin Walker, Anthony Mackie, Rufus Sewell, Alan Tudyk, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dominic Cooper

Release Date: June 22

Why I’m Excited: Not only am I fan of Bekmambetov’s previous works (Night Watch, Day Watch, Wanted), but I’m continually impressed by the rise of author/screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith’s career.  Also, after seeing Walker and Mackie in action at WonderCon and that sweet gun-axe that Honest Abe is carrying, I not only want this movie to do well, I want history to be rewritten with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter presented as fact.  I’m pulling for this film to be the dark horse hit of the year.

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SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

Director: Lorene Scafaria

Cast: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Gillian Jacobs, Adam Brody, T.J. Miller, Patton Oswalt, Connie Britton, William Petersen, Rob Corddry

Release Date: June 22

Why I’m Excited: Aside from the fact that this is Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist screenwriter Scafaria’s directorial debut, I thought I’d mellow out my action-heavy selection with a nice, quaint, end-of-the-world romantic comedy.  The combination of Carell and Knightley is an intriguing pairing and I found the recently released trailer to be rather enticing. Who knows, I might even pick up a few tips in preparation for the actual end of the world later this year.

 




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  • Rickey G

    I was about to rip into u guys for no Hobbit love and then I realized my mistake. Derp! Prometheus is mine hands down.

  • Gippi

    And no Dark Shadows?

  • henrieta

    stop telling people that avengers has only one major set piece.it makes you look stupid

    • Singularity

      My theory is that a couple of Matt’s friends started leaving razzy comments after his articles as a joke, but it took on a life of it’s own when malcontents realized they could make fun of someone.

  • Tim

    I’m surprised Matt liked Mirror Mirror.

  • AndradeFilms

    Nice lists! Check out the montage I made of the Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9vGrRdkgZ8 I think the Collider staff will like it! Especially Dave

    • Ur mom

      Not bad!! I remember that music from the second Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer. You should look up TrailerMusicAmerica’s Trailer Music Mayhem. It’s amazing!!

    • Dave Trumbore

      Nice work! It’s ridiculous how many highly anticipated movies are coming out this year. I almost feel bad for BATTLESHIP and WRATH OF THE TITANS and movies of that ilk because they are going to be buried by everything else that’s coming. You can usually put out a goofy popcorn movie and still count on a decent summer box office. Not this year!

  • Ur mom

    My picks are: Cabin in the Woods, THE AVENGERS, Brave, Snow White & The Huntsman and Prometheus. Maybe AL: Vampire Hunter, not sure about that one yet.

  • Rick Roll

    Only Prometheus matters.

  • AlexHeyNa

    Where are Steve’s picks?

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