The 21 Most Anticipated Films of 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 9:26 am
By Shane Rivers

If this list of the 21 most anticipated films of 2010 doesn’t get you excited, then you may want to check and make sure you’ve still got a pulse.  This is going to be a huge year for quality movies, and just narrowing it down to 21 was more difficult than I imagined.  We’ll see franchises started, franchises ended (well, at least Part I), remakes, reboots, and popular TV shows brought to the big screen.  While some of these films may not live up to expectations, they’re all looking pretty damn good coming out of the gate.

Keep in mind that those wacky Hollywood execs are always looking for ways to make more money, so the release dates listed below are subject to change.  Heck, The Wolfman was originally supposed to come out in November of 2008, so be sure to verify before you go stand in line for tickets.

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When possible, I’ve also included a link to the trailer for each film.  If my semi-witty prose doesn’t get you excited, maybe a slickly-produced preview filled with explosions and CGI creatures will do the trick.

So forget all about 2009, break out your new calendar, and get ready for the 21 most anticipated films of 2010.

book-eli-denzelName:  The Book of Eli
Starring:  Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis
Opens:  January 15th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  I loved watching Denzel play a badass in Training Day, and now he gets to go all post-apocalyptic on scraggly rednecks and bikers.  While I have no idea what’s inside the mysterious book he’s guarding, the villainous Carnegie (Gary Oldman) wants it, and that’s good enough for me.  Mila Kunis adds some sex appeal to the proceedings, and Jennifer Beals still looks smashing at age 46.  The supporting cast is outstanding, featuring Ray Stevenson, Michael Gambon and Malcolm McDowell.

Name:  Legion
  Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black
Opens:  January 22nd, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  When God gets bored with watching humanity kill one another, he decides to show them how a real pro does it.  He sends his angels, led by Gabriel, to wipe out the human race, but they’re opposed by the archangel Michael (Bettany) and a group of normal folks from a diner in New Mexico.  Sounds like a pretty one-sided fight, right?  Well, you’ve obviously never seen Paul Bettany wield a pair of M-16s.  And did I mention that the diner’s pregnant hottie waitress (Adrianne Palicki) may be carrying the second coming of Christ?  Man, I’m a sucker for any film that features a shotgun-wielding Dennis Quaid taking on a demonic little old lady.

Name:  Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Starring:  Logan Lerman, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan
Opens:  February 12th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  Young Percy Jackson finds out that he’s the demigod son of Poseidon, and he quickly gets caught up in one exciting adventure after another.  Sean Bean is an excellent choice for Zeus, and maybe he’s finally found a role where he won’t get killed off.  With big special effects and a supporting cast filled with name-brand actors (Uma Thurman, Kevin McKidd, Catherine Keener, Pierce Brosnan), Percy Jackson & the Olympians may well be the next Harry Potter.

Name:  Valentine’s Day
Starring:  Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba
Opens:  February 12th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  I’m not normally a fan of the chick flick, but who can resist a film that features the above actresses, as well as Jessica Biel, Kathy Bates, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Hector Elizondo, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Shirley MacLaine, and several more?  With one of the biggest all-star casts ever put together, Valentine’s Day would have to be all kinds of awful not to make a killing at the box office.  If you’re a woman, you’ve probably already got tickets.  If you’re involved with a woman, you might as well accept that you’ll be seeing this one.

wolfman-del-toroName:  The Wolfman
Starring:  Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt
Opens:  February 12th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  The 1941 Universal horror classic gets an atmospheric $85 million makeover.  Benicio “Mumbles” del Toro headlines the film, and Anthony Hopkins will no doubt chew the hell out of the scenery as his father.  Rick Baker handles the special effects duties, and he’s already shown his talent with lycanthropes on An American Werewolf in London.  Emily Blunt looks cute, Hugo Weaving dour, and Gene Simmons of KISS provides the voice of the Wolfman.  I wonder if he’ll sing “Calling Dr. Love”?

Name:  Alice in Wonderland
  Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter
Opens:  March 5th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  It’s the latest film from director Tim Burton, so there should be little surprise as to how the whole thing will play out.  If you’re a fan of Burton, that’s a very good thing.  Serving as a sequel to the Lewis Carroll novels, Alice travels back down the rabbit hole for another adventure, this time taking on the feared Jabberwock (voiced by Christopher Lee).  But the star of the show will no doubt be Johnny Depp, padding his already bizarre resume by taking on the role of the Mad Hatter.  This is his seventh film with Burton, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Name:  Clash of the Titans
  Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Sam Worthington
Opens:  March 26th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  The original was a real hoot, but it’s obvious from the trailer that this remake is getting the 300 treatment.  That means more action, more bloody fights, and more bizarre bad guys than you can shake a stick at.  Sam Worthington looks appropriately manly for the role of the heroic Perseus, but Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are the ones who really have me excited.  Neeson plays Zeus, the king of the gods, a part appropriate for an actor who whipped all kinds of ass in last year’s Taken.  Fiennes, meanwhile, gets to play the villainous Hades, a mad god bent on unleashing the horrors of the underworld.  Watching Neeson bellow “Release the Kraken” just sends shivers up my spine.

Name:  Kick-Ass
Starring:  Nicolas Cage, Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz
Opens:  April 16th. 2010
Why I’m Excited:  How many superhero movies let you see thugs get chopped up like sushi by a pre-teen girl?  Well, this one does.  Based on the ongoing series by Mark Millar, Kick-Ass tells the story of a geeky kid who reads one too many comic books and decides to become a real-life superhero.  Things go less than perfect, but he soon makes the acquaintance of a vigilante named Big Daddy (Cage) and his lethal, pint-sized daughter, Hit-Girl (Moretz).  Mark Strong continues his string of Hollywood villain roles, and the whole affair is filled with violent post-modern goodness.  Fanboys should be drooling over this one.

machete-trejoName:  Machete
Starring:  Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba
Opens:  April 16th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  It started as a fake trailer during the Grindhouse film (see the link), but Machete soon generated enough interest to take on a life of its own.  Danny Trejo gets to play a rare heroic role, and the cast is filled to the brim with interesting choices, including Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal (his first appearance in theaters in eight years), Lindsay Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez and Cheech Marin.  Directed by Robert Rodriguez, expect Machete to be packed with girls, guns, and gore.

Name:  A Nightmare on Elm Street
  Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Thomas Dekker
Opens:  April 30th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  While I’m still pissed that Robert Englund was kicked to the curb, I figure there’s no way that this reboot of the Elm Street series can be as god-awful as last year’s Friday the 13th movie.  Jackie Earle Haley dons the fedora and bladed glove of dream killer Freddy Krueger, and performances in Watchmen and Little Children show he’s got the chops.  Freddy’s appearance will look more like a real burn victim, and his trademark wisecracks will be a thing of the past.  Of all the movies on my list of the 21 most anticipated films of 2010, this is the one I have the most doubts about.

Name:  Iron Man 2
  Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke
Opens:  May 7th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  Playboy/superhero Tony Stark returns in what looks to be a sequel worthy of the first film.  Mickey Rourke should be great as the metal-toothed Russian baddie, and he looks awesome wielding a pair of energized whips.  I pray that Scarlett Johansson tries to squeeze into the Black Widow’s traditional costume, and the scene where Iron Man and War Machine fight side by side is enough to make this comic book fan squeal with delight.  Too bad the film won’t play AC/DC over the scenes like the trailer did.

robin-hood-croweName:  Robin Hood
Starring:  Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong
Opens:  May 14th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  The last time Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe teamed up for a film not set in modern times, the result was the classic Gladiator.  In this movie, Crowe trades in his sword for a longbow as Sir Robin of Loxley, the fair-minded noble who later becomes known as Robin Hood.  Expect action a’plenty, as Robin and his Merry Men butt heads with the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham.  Mark Strong racks up yet another villain role.  At this rate, Strong is going to become the next Gary Oldman.

Name:  Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley
Opens:  May 28th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  As an adopted 6th century prince, Jake Gyllenhaal gets to leap, swordfight, look soulful, and romance the lovely Gemma Arterton.  Jake’s all pumped up for this one, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer will try to capture the same kind of magic he did on the Pirates of the Caribbean series.  Expect this one to become a rather lucrative franchise.

Name:  The A-Team
  Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Opens:  June 11th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  If you grew up in the ’80s, watching The A-Team was a normal part of your week.  Whether B.A. was being tricked into flying, or Hannibal was puffing on a cigar and saying, “I love it when a plan comes together,” there were numerous elements that contributed to its status as a television classic.  While it’s hard to imagine this cast capturing the magic of the old group, I’m looking forward to seeing them try.  Here’s hoping they at least leave the timeless theme music alone.

Name:  Jonah Hex
  Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, Will Arnett
Opens:  June 18th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  Jonah Hex (Brolin) is a former Confederate soldier who now makes ends meet as a bounty hunter.  With a horribly scarred face, an itchy trigger finger, and a deadly prostitute girlfriend played by Megan Fox, Hex must stop a bitter ex-Confederate who wants to restart the Civil War.  With a heavy metal band scoring the film and John Malkovich playing the villain, don’t expect the usual run-of-the-mill Western.

Name:  Toy Story 3
Starring (voices):  Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
Opens:  June 18th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  It’s fun for the whole family, as Woody and Buzz Lightyear return to the big screen.  This time around, the toys end up in a day-care center, and a damaged Buzz goes back to thinking he’s a real space ranger (but in Spanish).  Not all computer-animated films are to my liking, but the Toy Story series is one that’s great for kids of all ages. Besides, I can never get enough of listening to Randy Newman mumble his way through songs.

Name:  The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
  Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner
Opens:  June 30th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  Okay, I’m not really that excited, but plenty of teenage girls are.

Name:  The Last Airbender
Starring:  Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone
Opens:  July 2nd, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  After getting knocked down a few pegs with the dismal performance of Lady in the Water, maybe director M. Night Shyamalan will quit relying on the same formula over and over (not that it stopped him in The Happening).  They’re shooting for a franchise here, so I’m guessing the ending won’t be abrupt or summed up by captions.  Kids are going to be a big part of the target audience, but it also looks as though adults will be able to enjoy the impressive special effects and eye-popping fights.  I’ll be happy as long as plants don’t wind up being the film’s protagonists.

predator-alienName:  Predators
  Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Danny Trejo
Opens:  July 7th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  Co-written and co-produced by Robert Rodriguez, Predators is meant as a direct sequel to the original Schwarzenegger classic (forget about that nonsense in Los Angeles).  The look of the Predator has been kept the same as in the original, and the R rating ensures that this one won’t be pandering to the tween demographic.  A group of dangerous humans (including the ever-lethal Adrien Brody) are captured, transported to a Predator planet, and then forced to survive being hunted.  Think of it as “The Most Dangerous Game” with lasers and lethal extraterrestrial animals.  Oh, and Topher Grace plays a serial killer.

Name:  The Expendables
Starring:  Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham
Opens:  August 13th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  Does it even really matter what the plot is?  Just check out this action movie dream cast: Stallone, Rourke, Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Steve Austin, Gary Daniels and Randy Couture. Cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are also in store (including the first-ever scene between the two stars and Stallone).  I’m smelling a comeback for the action genre, and The Expendables will be leading the way.

Name:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
Starring:  Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
Opens:  November 19th, 2010
Why I’m Excited:  It’s the beginning of the end for Harry Potter and pals, as we pick up right where the last film left off.  Dumbledore is dead, Voldemort has risen to power, and every magic user is either being recruited or slain by the Death Eaters.  If you’ve seen the previous six films, there’s little doubt that you’ll line up for this one.  And if you’re new to the cinematic world of Harry Potter…well, there’s plenty of time to catch up before the film debuts in November.