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December 21, 2012

‘Star Trek,’ ‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘Man of Steel’: Movie trailer bonanza

Posted in: Movies

“The Dark Knight Rises” might have been the most watched movie trailer on YouTube this year, but with 2013 just around the corner, we here at Hero Complex thought it would be fun to collect the trailers for some of next year’s big releases — many of which debuted in what seemed like an onslaught of promotion in the last few weeks.

“Star Trek Into Darkness”

J.J. Abrams’ much anticipated follow-up to his 2009 reboot of the landmark television series beams into theaters May 17, and fans got a taste of what to expect with the nine minutes of the movie that played before Imax screenings of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” But the question remains, who is the villain that Benedict Cumberbatch is playing?

Some fans seem convinced that Cumberbatch would appear as Khan Noonien Singh, the character made famous by Ricardo Montalban on the original TV series and in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” Others appear certain that he would play Gary Mitchell, a villain with psionic powers first played by Gary Lockwood in the episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the second “Star Trek” pilot filmed and the first to feature William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk.

Damon Lindelof, who penned the movie’s script with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, said that the filmmakers intend to keep the character’s identity a mystery for as long as possible.

“Benedict doesn’t even know who he’s playing,” he joked.

“Iron Man 3”

The two-minute trailer for the next chapter in the ongoing adventures of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark implies that the self-proclaimed “genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist” loses everything he values, perhaps including his girlfriend and level-headed counterpart Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), at the hands of Marvel super-villain the Mandarin, brought to the big screen for the first time by Ben Kingsley.

The film, directed by Jon Favreau’s former “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2″ consultant Shane Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”), is due out May 3, and promises to put Stark through the paces. In the clip, we see the complete destruction of Tony Stark’s world, beginning with his armored suits, lined up along the wall, which explode one by one. We see the Mandarin’s helicopters launch missiles at Stark’s seaside home, which crumbles down the cliff, and a suited-up Stark sinks into the wreckage.

What we don’t see is much of Downey’s signature off-the-cuff riffing and dry wit. Hopefully, that won’t be a casualty of the Mandarin’s machinations too. It’s one of the best aspects of the Marvel franchise.

“Man of Steel”

Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” is set to take flight June 14, and the latest trailer offers some tantalizing hints about the anticipated superhero epic — epic being the operative word, judging from the scale of the images in the clip and its grand musical score.

In terms of visuals, Snyder seems to be painting with a beautiful, muted steel brush as he tells Kal-El’s story, the striking yet subdued hues possibly speaking to the elegant influence of producer Christopher Nolan.

Snyder said last month that “Man of Steel” took the Superman mythology quite seriously, a point echoed in the new trailer.

“He’s this amazing ambassador for all superheroes,” Snyder said. “What was it about him that cracked the code that made pop culture embrace this other mythology? What we’ve made as a film not only examines that but is also an amazing adventure story. It’s been an honor to work on. As a comic book fan, Superman is like the Rosetta Stone of all superheroes. I wanted to be sure the movie treated it respectfully.”

“Pacific Rim”

Guillermo del Toro hasn’t directed a film since 2008′s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” but he’s set to return next year in a very big way with “Pacific Rim.” The first trailer for the robots-versus-kaiju film promises near nonstop spectacle, or, as Del Toro said in an interview last week, “the biggest wrestling matches on Earth.”

Set in the near future, the film posits that a race of kaiju has entered our world, rising up out of the ocean, and humans, struggling to survive the onslaught, have invented 25-story tall robots called Jaegers to fight them off. Charlie Hunnam stars as the troubled Raleigh Becket, who along with Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako Mori pilots Gipsy Danger, pictured above; the film’s cast also includes Idris Elba, Charlie Day and Del Toro regular Ron Perlman as the fabulously named, nattily attired black market businessman Hannibal Chow.

“I felt there was a chance to do something fresh, something new that at the same time was conscious of the heritage, but not a pastiche or an homage or a greatest hits of everything,” Del Toro told Hero Complex earlier this year of his approach to making his own kaiju movie. “One of the first things I did is make it a point to not check any old movies or any other references. Like start from scratch.”

“Pacific Rim” opens July 12.

“World War Z”

Fans who were disappointed that the release of Paramount’s big-screen version of “World War Z” was delayed from its original  December date and rescheduled to open June 21 had reason to feel some cheer with the  gripping first trailer for the Marc Forster-directed adaptation of Max Brooks’ acclaimed zombie novel.

The clip plays like a taut thriller that taps into modern fears about the fall of mankind and the ongoing fascination with the idea of the zombie apocalypse. “World War Z” stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, a United Nations fact-finder and family man who desperately races around the globe to determine the origins of a zombie pandemic that has toppled civilization in short order.

Mireille Enos, late of “The Killing,” stars as his wife.

“Jack the Giant Slayer”

The most recent trailer for Bryan Singer’s new fantasy film, “Jack the Giant Slayer,” doesn’t play coy with the goods, showing the behemoths in full rampaging glory. There are two-headed giants, falling giants, giants with funny haircuts and even baking giants.

Singer’s film, set to open March 1, stars Nicholas Hoult as a farm boy who unwittingly reignites a centuries-old war between his people and the sky-dwelling giants. Hoult, of course, is familiar to audiences as Beast in the “X-Men” films, but 2013 is shaping up to be a big year for the young actor. He’ll also be seen in the upcoming zombie romance — yes, you read that correctly — “Warm Bodies” and in George Miller’s return to his seminal apocalyptic action franchise, “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation”

The action franchise finds itself in new hands with the arrival of Jon M. Chu (“Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” “Step-Up 3D”). It remains to be seen if Chu can effectively take the place of demolition expert Stephen Sommers, a director with far more experience when it comes to effects-laden projects (“The Mummy” and “Scorpion King” franchises) and the man who guided 2009’s “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” to more than $302 million in worldwide box office receipts.

But Chu has a fan in the film’s producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura: “Because Jon grew up with this in his DNA, there’s a confidence that he has shown as a director that shows in the film, an understanding of these [characters] that the fans are going to appreciate as well,” he told Hero Complex earlier this year.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” sees action veterans Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson recruited for duty. Channing Tatum also returns as Duke and shares the screen with Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Ray Stevenson and RZA.

“The Host”

The “Twilight” saga might have come to an end with the November release of “Breaking Dawn-Part 2,” but you haven’t seen the last of author Stephenie Meyer’s work on the big screen. “Gattaca” writer-director Andrew Niccol tackles Meyer’s novel “The Host,” casting Saoirse Ronan as Melanie Stryder, a young woman who finds her body taken hostage by one of a parasitic race of alien creatures who have conquered Earth and are seeking to stamp out the rebels determined to retain control of their souls and regain control of the planet.

This being Meyer, the saga wouldn’t be complete without a love triangle. Max Irons and Jake Abel play the two rivals at odds for the affections of Melanie and the being residing inside her, a spirit called Wanderer, Wanda for short.

“The Host” opens March 29.

“After Earth”

Will Smith is box office gold; M. Night Shyamalan, well, maybe not so much anymore.

With “After Earth,” the beleaguered “Sixth Sense” filmmaker attempts to win over critics and moviegoers by teaming with Smith, Hollywood’s Mr. Popularity. He also has stepped away from directing his own original scripts with this project, which is credited to writers Stephen Gaghan and Gary Whitta.

Smith plays a space-faring general and his son Jaden Smith stars as the general’s son, on patrol over the planet Earth 1,000 years after a cataclysmic event left the planet uninhabited by people. Of course, things go wrong. They crash and Smith the Younger must head out in search of aid for his badly injured father.

The trailer for the film, due June 7, promises a fair amount of “Avatar”-like natural wonder and monkeys. A whole lot of monkeys.


“Oblivion” showcases a similarly unoccupied planet Earth, however the future for this planet isn’t quite so verdant. The scorched Earth of “Tron: Legacy” director Joseph Kosinski’s vision has more in common with Pixar‘s animated film “Wall-E” than “Avatar,” with decimated football stadiums and lots and lots of barren earth.

The story involves Tom Cruise as a repairman — just your average worker bee, who discovers that Earth isn’t quite as uninhabited as he thought it was. Apparently, Morgan Freeman is also there.

It doesn’t get more fantastic than that. See for yourself when the film opens April 19.

“The Lone Ranger”

When the first images of Johnny Depp’s wild incarnation of Tonto to Armie Hammer’s more conventional-looking hero in “The Lone Ranger” debuted, there was a whole lot of buzz about the large bird he appeared to be wearing on top of his head, not to mention the heavy eye makeup. The actor, always one to embrace unusual costumes for his starring roles, said the inspiration for the character came from a Kirby Sattler painting.

Centering on the advent of the railroad in the American West and subsequent hijackings that ensue, the trailer shows Depp’s character saying, “There come a time, kemosabe, when good men must wear mask,” in his best Native American accent.

Although the clip certainly places heavy emphasis on sleek imagery and fast-paced period action, it hasn’t been entirely full-steam ahead for the July 3 release. The Gore Verbinski-directed film has endured some oddly public budget shootouts and will ride against the industry assumption that the Hollywood western long ago rode off into the sunset as a viable popcorn prospect with young audiences.

“Oz: The Great and Powerful”

Sam Raimi’s upcoming “Oz: The Great and Powerful” promises viewers a journey down the yellow brick road that will include a breathtaking array of dazzling visual effects.

The Disney film stars James Franco as the man who will become the Wizard of Oz, and takes place well before Dorothy arrives in the faraway fantasy land somewhere over the rainbow. The film’s trailer opens in black-and-white, a homage to the 1939 classic, with Franco’s Oscar Diggs wishing for greatness, just before he’s blown into the eye of a storm that sends him into another world.

It’s clear that the studio is hoping for a repeat of the success it enjoyed with Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which opened in March 2010 and like “Oz” was produced by Joe Roth. It will be interesting to see Raimi, with his first feature since 2009’s “Drag Me to Hell,” offer his take on the much beloved mythology created by L. Frank Baum.

Vote for your favorite in the comments section below.

— Gina McIntyre, with Noelene Clark and Patrick Kevin Day

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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