Jaime Burchardt’s Most Anticipated Films of 2013

By Jaime Burchardt

25. GANGSTER SQUAD - dir. Ruben Fleischer - Release Date: January 11

The tale of the film’s initial September 2012 release date became one of sorrow and controversy, and Warner Bros.’ decision to move it to the following year might have been the best in more than one sense. The January tag gave the flick’s advertising a spark of new life, and the buzz on it has never been hotter. In a few weeks time, we’ll finally get to see a cast of heroes show their stuff in the 1940’s, not to mention we’ll finally see if Fleischer can even out his resume to a more positive side.

 24. EVIL DEAD - dir. Fede Alvarez - Release Date: April 12

Just a couple of years ago Fede Alvarez’s self-made short Panic Attack! caught the attention of millions of awe-inspired people. One of those millions just happened to be Sam Raimi. And he just happened to be looking for someone to give the reboot of his career-starter a fresh perspective. The result? While we can’t say fully for sure, we do have an idea. Have you seen that red band trailer? This could be a gross, horrific, flat-out gruesome ride.

23. PAIN & GAIN - dir. Michael Bay - Release Date: April 26

It’s only been 6 years since Bay started hanging around giant robots, but it just feels so much longer than that. (The last hour of Dark of the Moon felt like it was never going to end). And while he’s not done with them yet (Transformers 4 is aimed for 2014), he decided to fit a little passion project in-between his schedule, or has he calls it, his “small movie”. All groaned until the first trailer debuted a few weeks ago. Mark Wahlberg & Dwayne Johnson being buff and funny, and a vibe that harks back to his Bad Boys days. Oh…I’m down.

22. HER - dir. Spike Jonze - Release Date: Unknown

The small filmography of Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., Where the Wild Things Are) always fuses the elements of sadness, bizarreness and redemption is such a magical fashion that it’s more than enough to characterize is as his signature. And fortunately the wait for his next one won’t be much longer. Jonze brings in Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Rooney Mara to spurn a tale about a writer whose world gets turned upside down when he purchases a new operating system. This could be one for the books.

21. THE LAST STAND - dir. Jee-woon Kim - Release Date: January 18

Schwarzenegger is making the next year a big comeback journey. He’s got the action-adventure The Tomb coming out later in the year (co-starring with Sylvester Stallone), and the David Ayer-directed Ten hitting theaters January 2014. But even with all that, it’s how he’s starting the journey that’s the most impressive aspect. A small-time sheriff kicking some serious butt, and behind the camera is the outstanding energetic director that brought us The Good, the Bad and the Weird and I Saw the Devil. Oh and as of a week ago it was confirmed that it’s rated R after months of a speculated PG-13 rating. Yes yes yes…

20. TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE - dir. Steve McQueen - Release Date: USA Date Unknown (September 6 in Brazil)

While there might not be much known about the project at this point (the plot involves a man that’s sold into slavery in the 1800’s), director Steve McQueen’s already-impressive film journey (Hunger, Shame) is righteous in its command for our attention. He’s also rounded up an impressive cast (Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor, etc.) as well as doing a brilliant maneuver of reuniting Dwight Henry and Quvenzhané Wallis, the stars of the popular 2012 indie Beasts of the Southern Wild.

19. THIS IS THE END - dir. Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen - Release Date: June 14

The comedy-writing experts (Pineapple Express, Superbad) make their directorial debut. If that wasn’t enough, the huge cast they’ve assembled all play themselves during an apocalyptic setting while attending a party hosted by James Franco. Still not enough? Lucky for you the red-band teaser trailer has just been released. Danny McBride’s quip about the death of Micahel Cera not being a total loss is worth admission alone. And the interesting spin on this film’s release is that they won’t be the only end-of-the-world comedy coming out this year (you’ll see)…

18. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE - dir. Francis Lawrence - Release Date: November 22

The release of the first installment of The Hunger Games franchise proved to be more than successful both in quality and quantity. Gary Ross won’t be returning to his writing/directing duties, and while he is thanked for launching the film adaptation of the books off the ground, the crew they’ve assembled for Catching Fire more than fills that empty hole. Fusing the writing talents of Michael Arndt & Simon Beaufoy with the more-than-capable directorial skills of Francis Lawrence…now that’s excitement incarnate. And the buzz has already been kicked off to a good start with the word on how Lawrence is directing the IMAX action scenes.

17. 42 - dir. Brian Helgeland - Release Date: April 12

No disrespect to Gavin Hood’s Ender’s Game (also coming out this year), but if there’s one movie that should be picked to be the potential comeback show for Harrison Ford, it has to be Brian Helgeland’s take on the rise of baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Brilliantly casting him as Branch Rickey, the man that helped launch his career, could be just the thing Ford needs command the big screen once more. It’ll also be interesting to see how Chadwick Boseman handles his big movie break playing the first African-American signed player for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

16. WARM BODIES - dir. Jonathan Levine - Release Date: February 1

As a novel, when you’re billed as the zombie answer to Twilight, that’s…just not a good thing. It received that title, even though it has more to do with Romeo & Juliet than anything. The literary world is weird to me these days. What has to be commended is that the one filmmaker that didn’t get turned off by that declaration ended up being Jonathan Levine, who’s work is starting to define the word ‘inspiring’. The first trailer that was released a few months back promises a unique blend of comedy, horror and romance. Also referencing Lucio Fulci in one’s zombie flick is a nice step forward.

15. ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES - dir. Adam McKay - Release Date: December 20

If we’re talking about audience anticipation, usually when you make a sequel to a comedy that’s 9 years overdue, there are more rough patches to deal with than smooth roads. Unless that sequel is to one of the most beloved Will Ferrell movies of all time. Though it doesn’t come out for another year, Adam McKay and the gang released different versions of a teaser trailer that had the fans rejoicing. If you haven’t seen them, find the one where Steve Carell says, in Brick-style fashion of course, “In this film we play witches.” Priceless.

14. A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD - dir. John Moore - Release Date: February 14

Though it’s not really the cool hip thing to say these days, admit it: when Live Free or Die Hard came out almost 6 years ago, you loved it. The one-liners, the impossible action, that famous last line (in the unrated version of course)…John McClane was back. And Bruce Willis is coming back as he promised, and this time John Moore is helming the fifth installment. While most look at his work as less than satisfactory on a whole, the potential for something gold cannot be overlooked. A merger of a potentially solid script (the first one ever fully intended as a Die Hard sequel) along with his (let’s be honest) inspiring flair of camera placement could have something to prove here…

13. THE WOLVERINE - dir. James Mangold - Release Date: July 26

Many were upset when the idea of a Darren Arronofsky-directed Wolverine sequel had vanished back in the spring of 2011. At that point we were all desperate for Fox to hire someone to help wash out the taste of the superhero’s poorly constructed origin flick. First great move: bringing in James Mangold (his resume more than speaks for itself). Second great move: giving him full creative reigns. In his hands the project went from a sad thought to a highly anticipated next chapter in Logan’s tale. And the setting for this sequel? The much-beloved Japanese saga. Oh and the first released teaser poster is fantastic.

12. JOHN DIES AT THE END - dir. Don Coscarelli - Release Date: January 25

Novelist/Cracked writer David Wong’s debut book drew rapid praise, and when talks of a film adaptation became heavy, it was beloved cult director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-tep) that emerged victorious in securing the right to tackle the project about two friends going on an extraordinary trip fueled by a new kind of drug. Even though it’s finally getting a proper release in a few weeks, this flick has already been seen by a privileged few since its worldwide debut at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. From then to now, the early word is that the wait will be worth it. So…so worth it.

 11. STOKER - dir. Chan-wook Park - Release Date: March 1 (limited release)

The directorial efforts of Chan-wook Park have been nothing short of extraordinary, but the arrival is his American debut comes with a special kind of “delayed” tag (it was originally meant to be a 2012 release). Stoker tells the story of a daughter who, after burying her father, meets a mysteriously dangerous man claiming to be her uncle. Hitting familiar grounds, Park brings the Wentworth Miller-scripted tale of a deeply disturbed story to life by casting the paranoid mother (Nicole Kidman), the grieving daughter (Mia Wasikowska) and the dark uncle (Matthew Goode) just right (possibly).

10. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS - dir. Paul Greengrass - Release Date: October 11

Whether he’s directing fiction (the best of the Bourne franchise) or non-fiction (United 93, Bloody Sunday), the signature style of director Paul Greengrass has rarely been associated with any descriptions that are less than stellar, not to mention intensely realistic. His newest outing has him teamed up with Tom Hanks as they tell the 2009 true story of first American ship hijacked by Somali pirates in over 200 years…and the captain that was caught right in the middle. Bonus anticipation points are rewarded for the script, written by thriller aficionado Billy Ray (Shattered Glass, Breach).

9. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - dir. J.J. Abrams - Release Date: May 17

Abrams’ successful 2009 reboot of the adored sci-fi franchise had fans clamoring for more. So a sequel should have been next for everybody, right? Not so fast. The writers spent years trying to decide on the proper course for the Enterprise crew, and the delay almost forced Abrams to leave the ship. But in true dramatic fashion, things were brought together at the last minute and now we’re mere months away from seeing Benedict Cumberbatch release an evil so great it causes our heroes to go on a galaxy-wide manhunt. Kudos goes to Abrams for choosing to film it in the IMAX format rather than 3D (although there will be a post conversion).

8. YOU’RE NEXT - dir. Adam Wingard - Release Date: August 23

Though it’s not the only film on the list to have its 2012 release get thwarted, at the time the release date move to August 2013 really, really hurt. Rising horror maestro Adam Wingard’s sophomore effort first caught our attention at Fantastic Fest…2011 (the events that went down that week are still legend). After Lionsgate acquired it and promised a fall 2012 release, we waited. And waited. And—they moved it. Oh well, its no matter as the Simon Barret-scripted blood-fueled nightmare about a family reunion gone wrong is now within our grasps.

7. PACIFIC RIM - dir. Guillermo del Toro - Release Date: July 12

One thing you got to love about del Toro…he will make whatever he damn well pleases. Even though it’s been 7 years since Pan’s Labyrinth, the route most filmmakers would have taken or would have been forced to taken certainly wouldn’t have involved a sequel to Hellboy, and certainly not a geek’s dream-come-true epic of giant monsters vs. giant man-made robots. 7 years and it’s still admirable…and amazing. He’s got a great cast lined up, and the first trailer already features what will be one of the coolest quotes of 2013 (you know the one).

6. ONLY GOD FORGIVES - dir. Nicolas Winding Refn - Release Date: May 23

Ryan Gosling plays a man that’s been hiding out in Bangkok for the last decade after killing a cop back home. He manages a Thai boxing club, and lives a mostly empty life until a murder caused by his brother brings out all manners of unpleasantry. Their gangster boss of a mother instructs him to “raise hell”.  That’s the plot description for the second collaboration between actor Ryan Gosling and director Refn. Their first was Drive, one of the best movies of 2011. Just…let that sink in for a minute. It should be noted that the May release date was verified a few weeks ago, with a possibility of it premiering at Cannes.

5. THE WORLD’S END - dir. Edgar Wright - Release Date: October 25

Edgar Wright vs. the end of the world. Say that out loud. You know you just got tingles. His fourth film centers on Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and a gang of buds reuniting after 20 years to go on an all-out celebratory drink binge, but instead find themselves staring at the face of the apocalypse. Pegg & Frost re-teaming with Wright is already cause for celebration of its own, but bringing along Eddie Marsan, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Rosamund Pike just makes this all the more sweeter.

4. MAN OF STEEL - dir. Zack Snyder - Release Date: June 14

Warner Bros. and their original cause to bring Superman back to the bring screen wasn’t born out of the noblest of reasons. After a rather nasty court dispute in which the origin rights were rewarded back to Siegel family, basically the courts told them to either have a new film in development or face a mega-ton of lost revenue. Combine that with the time period of Zack Snyder’s directorial duty announcement was met with cynicism. Funny how all those negative vibes have flat-out been stopped in their tracks since the debut of the trailers. It doesn’t look lame, and it certainly doesn’t look like a Richard Donner love letter. Because of the collaboration of Snyder and executive producer Christopher Nolan, this could be something really special.

3. IRON MAN 3 - dir. Shane Black - Release Date: May 3

The first one is cherished. The second one…not so much, but it was nothing to turn away from. Robert Downey’s crusade as the iron-suited Tony Stark has been an interesting ride to say the least. But things are about to get dark as the hero faces doubt and restraint after the events that happened in The Avengers. It’s always interesting to see how a dark chronicle turns out for superheroes. But the real reason one should be pumped for this? Shane Black. A man with a mind for creating some of the most ingenious action & dialogue you’ve ever seen & heard, making an Iron Man movie? Oh come on. The decision to have him co-write and direct the third outing could prove to be brilliant.

2. ELYSIUM - dir. Neill Blomkamp - Release Date: August 9

Think back to when you first heard the name Neill Blomkamp. Almost guaranteed you first heard that name when he was brought up to potentially direct the first Halo film adaptation. Instantly the idea was booed, and in a way he was booed of the stage of our fandom. Instead of letting it get him down, he just went to a different stage, and while we were still laughing he made relatively low-budget sci-fi flick called District 9. We saw it…and my god we certainly stopped laughing. He introduced us to Sharito Copley (who plays a villain here), and more importantly he introduced us to what he’s capable of. And the best part about the Elysium? Even after it’s plot description, we’re still not sure what it’s about. The surprises Blomkamp has in store for us could rock us to the very core.

1. GRAVITY - dir. Alfonso Cuarón - Release Date: October 18

I’m going to get personal here for a minute. A few years back I painstakingly created a list of the best movies of the past decade, from 2000-2009. After a week of beating my brain to a pulp I had finally decided on which film should be number 2. As for the number 1 spot, that was already decided the moment I decided to create the list. Alfonso Cuarón is a filmmaker that has accomplished so much in such a few number of films, but I have yet to see anything that compares to the masterpiece that is Children of Men. My theatrical experience of it will never be forgotten, nor will the remembrance of how it made me feel after the credits rolled. We’ve been waiting 7 years for his next film, and on October 18 it will finally arrive, in the form of a sci-fi saga that involves a lone survivor of a horrible space station accident (Sandra Bullock) trying to make her way back to Earth. Besides the cast and small crew not much is known because it’s all been kept a secret, and teased like an object being hidden by a curtain. The only thing we have to go by is a quote from Guillermo del Toro after he paid the set a visit one day. The words “game changer” were spoken aloud. Children of Men was already a game changer. What in the world does Cuarón have hiding behind that curtain?


My head's been consumed the art of movies & its creation ever since I was old enough to know what the word 'consumed' meant. The only way to reduce the pressure buildup is to write, edit, and direct. Chocolate milk also helps.
  • http://twitter.com/NextProjection Next Projection

    I was thinking the same thing. LOTS of potentially high quality stuff releasing in 2013!