With each sequel the Resident Evil film series seem to steer further away from the video games that inspired it. Hopefully Afterlife can correct that and I have reason to think it could. The fourth film has Paul W.S. Anderson returning as director after previously directing the original. Wentworth Miller will star as Chris Redfield, with Ali Larter returning as his sister Claire. Together they'll take on Umbrella bad guy Albert Wesker, played by Shawn Roberts. Ideally all those elements will make up for the movie featuring a super powered Milla Jovovich and her clone army.
Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, is adapting this popular graphic novel about Canadian bassist Scott Pilgrim who falls in love with Ramona V. Flowers and must do battle with her seven evil ex-boyfriends. An early review calls it a "mash-up of elements from Fight Club, Kill Bill, Speed Racer, Natural Born Killers, and a Michael Cera movie". The latter comparison is particularly apt as Michael Cera stars as Scott. This movie sounds like it could potentially reek of awesome. Wright will also be releasing a movie called The World's End which will reunite him with actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. I don't know much else about the film but based on those credentials alone I feel it deserves an honorable mention.
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part I
I'll never be in contention for world's biggest Potter fan. Not sure if I would even want to be. But I have enjoyed all of the Harry Potter film series. (Okay the first one is kind of bland.) If anything I've become more of a fan as the films progressed. So as the seventh movie approaches I'm as eager as anyone else to see the beginning of the end. And since I didn't read the books I don't actually know what's going to happen, so I might be more excited than most. Lastly I want to say that I don't care how Warner chooses to spins it, splitting up the final novel into two films is a cash grab, pure and simple.
6. Clash of the Titans
The most surprising thing about Clash of the Titans is how very faithful it seems to be to the original 1981 film. In these days where remakes mean little more than brand name recognition that's pretty cool. It's not too faithful of course. The special effects and creatre designs are all apropriately updated. The trailer does a good job of selling the film. It gives the film the aura of mural painted on the side of van parked at a metal concert. How could you not want to watch that?
Avatar The Last Airbender
I don't think it would be at all provocative if I called Avatar The Last Airbender the best North American produced animated series of the previous decade. My admiration for the series means that I'd naturally have an interest in the upcoming live action in spite of some odd casting choices and a director who's had a pretty spotty track record of late. Here's hoping the film stays true up to it's source material. One major alteration has already been leaked. Apparently in the movie the Fire Nation wipe out the Air Nomads because their temple was built upon the richest source of unobtanium. What a twist!
Robert Rodriguez had a history of pretty consistent output but the only movie he made in the last three years was Shorts. He tried making a star vehicle for his girlfriend Rose McGowan with his planned updates of Barbarella and Red Sonja but those fell through. Then the relationship fell through. There's still no word on his long promised Sin City sequel. He is delivering on another long promised film and that's Machete. Machete is based on a fake trailer from 2007's Grindhouse. The trailer was pretty fantastic so here's hoping it works in a longer format. Want to know how adaptation crazy Hollywood is getting? Now they're making movies based on movie trailers.
Now we move from one Robert Rodriguez film to another. This one however is only being produced and co-written by Rodriguez. The directorial duties lie with Antal Nimród, director of Vacancy and Armored. The cast includes Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, and Machete himself Danny Trejo. How's that for an interesting cast? It's taken awhile but I am glad that the Predators are finally getting more sequels. They've been under-utilized compared to their Alien counterparts. And no matter what Predators is like I figure it has to be better than AvP Requiem.
2. The Wolf Man
The Wolf Man was set to come out in November of last year. It was delayed to this February. So one of my "9 Most Anticipated of '09" didn't even come out during '09. I think it's a safe bet that it will be coming out now since I've been seeing ads on TV lately. Still anything is possible. Perhaps the change of release date was a good thing, because if nothing else the delay helped to move it up a notch on my list.
1. Iron Man 2
Okay so it's not really a surprising choice, especially considering how much I've written about it already. I think there's good reason to look forward to Iron Man 2 though. The first Iron Man was great and part 2 will reunite director Jon Favreau with the incomparable Robert Downey Jr. The sequel will also add Don Cheadle as War Machine, Mickey Rourke as Whiplash, Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow and Sam Jackson as Nick Fury. On top of all that the movie is the next stepping stone to the depiction of the larger Marvel Universe on the big screen.