25 Nerdy Movies to Watch For in 2013

It’s a new year, and along with the resolutions you’ve probably already broken, there’s a fresh slate of films to look forward to, and Nerd Bastards has chosen 25 to keep your eye on. Some titles you’ll know, others you might not, but one thing’s for sure, by the end of the year you’ll think some of them rocked and the rest of them sucked. As to which films will go which way, I’ll let that be a pleasant surprise.

Here are the 25 Nerdy Movies to Watch For in 2013:

Star Trek Into Darkness – KHAN! That’s all anybody seems to want to talk about. Is Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan? Is he playing Gary Mitchell? Is John Harrison an alias? Does it matter? Are you not going to be lined up opening night? Can’t you just wait till then? Don’t you know better yet to try and get anything out of Hollywood secret keeper J.J. Abrams? Aren’t you still going to be debating and dissecting this till Labour Day weekend anyway? You know it’s true. Release Date: May 17

Pacific Rim – It’s the movie Guillermo del Toro was born to make, baby! Monsters and giant robots together in one film like the greatest live-action anime you’ve never seen. Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures have high hopes for this movie, and it won a lot of fans and hype at Comic Con last summer, but that’s not always a guarantee of success. (See: Scott Pilgrim and Sucker Punch.) Can Pacific Rim break that curse? An entire backlog of del Toro projects may be banking on it. Release Date: July 12

Man of Steel – Nothing much is riding on this film, just the future of DC’s film development beyond Batman, up to and including the Justice League movie, which Henry Cavill is already been presumed to be a part of. Also riding high on the success of this film is Christopher Nolan’s rep as a superhero auteur, and director Zack Snyder’s batting average, which has already taken a hit after Sucker Punch. Most importantly though, fans just want a good Superman movie, and considering the pedigree and the expectations, there’s going to be no margin for error. But, you know, no pressure. Release Date: June 14

Elysium – It’s shaping up to be a good year for sci-fi, both of the giant robot variety and more serious-minded genre entries like District 9. Director Neill Blomkamp follows up his breakthrough hit with this high-minded entry about an ex-con played by Matt Damon who is pitted against a hard-nosed bureaucrat (Jodie Foster) in charge of a space station where only the richest of the rich get to live in opulence, while the 99 per cent wallow on an over-populated and polluted Earth. The release date’s been pushed back twice, but Elysium is now set to open the same weekend as District 9 just four years later. Hopefully, this is a good omen. Release Date: August 9

Gravity – This is going to be a good year for Spanish directors who take a lot of time between projects, and if the five year wait between Guillermo del Toro films has been brutal, let me re-acquaint you with Alfonso Cuarón. For his follow-up to 2006’s Children of Men, Cuarón will be returning to sci-fi, shooting stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in 3-D, and now you know everything I do about Gravity. Look for Cuarón to push his experiments in single-shot sequences further than he did with Children of Men, including a rumoured 30-minute-long shot. Release Date: TBD

Iron Man 3 – Marvel’s first film since The Avengers returns to the character who kicked it all off. This time there’ll be no Black Widow, no Nick Fury, and no other Avengers connective tissue to confuse the issue except to say that Tony Stark’s been changed by the events in New York. Robert Downey Jr’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black was a bold choice to follow-up Jon Favreau, and the footage released so far shows that Tony’s really going to be put to the test in this one. In fact, he might almost be nostalgic for an alien invasion by the end. Release Date: May 3

Warm Bodies – Forget World War Z, it will be movies like Warm Bodies that will foretell the future of the zombie genre. Set in a, you guessed it, post-apocalyptic world, a zombie named R develops feelings for a human named Julie after he eats the brains of her boyfriend. It’s Romeo & Juliet, except Romeo is undead and monosyllabic and Juliet’s Teresa Palmer. This film will have to work hard to not be awesome. We hope. Release Date: February 1

Ender’s Game – We all know Gavin Hood owes us for X-Men Origin: Wolverine, and it looks like he’s going to pay us back with an adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s award-winning novel. But at least he’s put together an interesting cast for the occasion, Hugo star Asa Butterfield will play the title character with Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley in the mentor roles. Summit Entertainment, who’s making the film, is hoping for another hit franchise, but fans are just hoping that their favourite book is given the justice it deserves. Release Date: November 1

OblivionTRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski adapts the graphic novel he co-created with Oblivion, and if you’ve seen the poster of water falling over the New York skyline, then you already know this is going to be a visual treat. But Kosinski’s handling of the visual end isn’t the issue. Can he tell a compelling story with those great visuals? That is the question. Also on trial here is Star Wars Episode VII screenwriter Michael Arndt. Does he have the sci-fi chops? I guess we’ll see. Release Date: April 12

The World’s EndEdgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost re-unite for more satire and British humour with The World’s End, which asks the question what would you do at the end of the world, and the answer is, apparently, a pub crawl. Pegg and Frost play buds reliving a night of youthful revelry unaware that the end of the world is upon them. If you liked Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, chances are that this will be right in your ballpark. Release Date: October 25

Kick-Ass 2Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse return with a full cast of homegrown heroes in this sequel to the 2010 hit. Even though Matthew Vaughan is only onboard in a producing capacity, fans shouldn’t have too much to fear given the source material and some choice casting. Look for John Leguizamo, Scrubs’ Donald Faison and Jim Carrey to team-up with Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl against the evil might of M**ther F**ker. Have fun with that, Hollywood censors. Release Date: June 28

The Evil Dead – It’s rather surprising to me that another shameless remake of a horror classic would make a list like this, but have you seen the trailer for this one? Paradoxically, this new Evil Dead, which is being overseen by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell, looks to be a bloody and terrifying film in its own right. Perhaps it will even be worthy enough to stand side-by-side with the low budget original, which remains a scary and creepy success. Either that or this is going to be a big let down. Release Date: April 12

The Wolverine – Now we get to see if X-Men Origins was a fluke or if a solo Wolverine film really is impossible. We’ll also get to see if Fox’s new approach to its Marvel properties by hiring Mark Millar as an overseer is going to work to their advantage. But mostly, we’ll see if Hugh Jackman’s still the best at what he does. There’s been some question if the 44-year-old Aussie is all that in the promotional shots, but according to Jackman those pecks are real, and they are spectacular. Release Date: July 26

Frozen – Disney’s next animated adventure returns to the realm of fairy tales with an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. Kristen Bell will take her rightful place as a Disney Princess by giving voice – both singing and speaking – to Anna, who must quest across a frozen land with a rugged outdoorsman, a one antlered reindeer and a snowman in order to undo a curse placed on her by her sister, the Snow Queen. Sadly, Frozen will not also be a return to 2-D cel animation, an art form Disney’s only twice dabbled in for the last 10 years. Release Date: November 27

Much Ado About Nothing – Granted the content here is not typically nerdy, a low-budget adaptation of the Shakespeare comedy, but the man behind it is Joss Whedon, and he somehow managed to squeeze in this shoot while on vacation during the making of The Avengers. Also, look for a nerd-friendly cast including Whedon veterans Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof (Angel), Reed Diamond and Fran Kranz (Dollhouse), Nathan Fillion and Sean Maher (Firefly) and Clark Gregg and Ashley Johnson (The Avengers). Release Date: June 7

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – Despite being discussed for nearly eight years, its taken nearly a decade for the long-awaited sequel to Sin City to go into production. Director Robert Rodriguez re-teams with comic creator Frank Miller for the film, which includes adaptations of A Dame to Kill For, Just Another Saturday Night, and two other original stories created by Miller. No word yet, on who’s playing Ava Lord, a role that was originally (supposedly) being reserved for Angelina Jolie, but there’s still 10 months for Rodriguez and Co. to sort all that out. Release Date: October 4

Epic – Based on William Joyce‘s children book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, Epic is the next animated feature from Blue Sky/Fox and director Chris Wedge who gave us Robots and the Ice Age movies. When a teenage girl named Mary Katherine (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) discovers a secret world deep in the forest, she becomes a part of a great battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Wedge describes it as FernGully meets Avatar, but, you know, more awesome, and kid-friendly. Release Date: May 24

Carrie – Yes, it’s another horror remake, and yes, Carrie has already been remade once before (twice if you count the “sequel,” The Rage), but working in this Carrie’s favour is director Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don’t Cry), who’s hardly a flash-in-the-pan or mainstream Hollywood choice. Combined with the spot-on casting of Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore in the leads, and renewed concerns about the impact of bullying on teens, and you have a crucible for genuine success. Release Date: October 18

Thor: The Dark World – Marvel continues to tee up Phase 2 Part 2 by heading back to Asgard for another adventure of the Norse variety. Much of the cast of the first Thor returns including Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins for this next chapter, which finds all nine realms under siege from the Dark Elves lead by Christopher Eccleston. The first Thor was, in my opinion, the weakest of the lead-up films to The Avengers, but Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor should be able to provide the right mix of action, drama and mythology. Release Date: November 8.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Just when she thought she’s out, they pull her back in. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) finds herself once again voluntold to take part in the Hunger Games. Sam Claflin, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Amanda Plummer and Jeffrey Wright join the cast, as the rebellion against the authoritarian government of Panem heats up, which is one definition for the meaning of Catching Fire. The other, of course, is the immediacy of how quickly Lionsgate wants these sequels in theatres. Release Date: November 22

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Sure, An Unexpected Journey has its detractors, but we’re all still looking forward to the new trilogy’s middle chapter. Maybe Bilbo and company will even get to the Lonely Mountain by the end of this film. Not much is known about what might actually happen in Smaug, the impromptu new addition to Peter Jackson’s original double bill, but considering that An Unexpected Journey banked half a billion dollars in less than a month, greenlighting a third Hobbit was probably the easiest decision anyone’s ever made. Release Date: December 13

Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down – In this year’s edition of Hollywood Double or Nothing (thank you to last year’s contestants Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman), we have two “Die Hard in the White House” action flicks. It’s Secret Service agent Gerard Butler protecting President Aaron Eckhart in Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus versus Channing Tatum guarding Commander-in-Chief Jamie Foxx in Roland Emmerich‘s Down. Which hunk will protect their POTUS best? Release Date: March 22 (Olympus); June 28 (Down)

The Tomb – It’s Stallone and Schwarzenegger versus Jesus. In jail. And Jesus is the warden! Sylvester Stallone plays an engineer wrongly imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit and sentenced to serve time in the prison he designed. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the prison wise man who helps Stallone with his escape attempt while Jim Caviezel attempts to thwart that attempt. I know we’re all looking forward to seeing more Expendibles style team-ups, but I remember when people wanted Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino to do more stuff together and we got Righteous KillRelease Date: September 27

Now You See MeIncredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier meet the new Incredible Hulk Mark Ruffalo. But don’t look for enormous green rage monsters here, as this is a crime thriller about four magicians, lead by Jessie Eisenberg (The Social Network), who moonlight as professional thieves. Ruffalo is the FBI agent hot on their trail. Look for action, intrigue, and re-uniting of The Dark Knight’s Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman as the wise, old men of the movie. Release Date: June 7

The Lone Ranger – It’s been a long hard journey for this big-budget remake of the classic western masked avenger, but will the epic re-teaming of Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer be able to catch Pirates of the Caribbean-like lightening in a bottle? It’s suspect, but we’ll have fun watching Depp double down on weird as Tonto. Release Date: July 3

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