The year may not be over and the best of 2009 list may not be up, but i'm already thinking ahead to what 2010 will bring. Here are 20 films that are already generating interest. Get ready.
1. Alice in Wonderland - Tim Burton teams up with Disney and Johnny Depp to bring us his version of a classic in technicolor 3D. There are a million and one ways this could go wrong, but two million why the project should be oh so right.
2. Iron Man 2 - Robert Downey Jr. returns to play billionaire playboy Tony Stark, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, and Scarlett Johansson sign on as villains. The first one was great fun, if all goes according to plan, the second one should be as well.
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 - The final chapter of the Harry Potter series is being divided across two films, the first of which is expected in late 2010. As a film franchise that has had no real failures and continues to boast an impressive cast of established Brits and young actors growing into their talents, all signs point to a successful wrap-up executed properly. I can't wait to see the action of book 7 brought to life.
4. Tron: Legacy - I have some very simple, nerdy pleasures. Tron is one of them. Thus, a sequel (even several decades after the fact) is big news. Especially one that looks as shiny as this and features a score by Daft Punk.
5. Kick-Ass - Young vigilante masked heroes get all kinds of violent in the film that's already generating talks of a sequel.
6. Inception -Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan + Leonardo DiCaprio + Joseph Gordon-Levitt + Ellen Page + Marion Cotillard + Cillian Murphy + Michael Caine + Ken Watanabe + mysterious plot + Matrix style acrobatics = yeah, everyone you know is going to see this.
7. Youth in Revolt - I almost didn't include this, as it comes out just a week into the New Year, but i am seriously pretty excited about this little comedy starring Michael Cera. So, it makes the cut.
8. Toy Story 3 - Pixar returns to very familiar territory. Honestly, i'd rather see something new from them, but it's pretty unlikely this won't be anything but another animated gem.
9. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Based on the comic book series by Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim follows the misadventures of its 20-something slacker character as he attempts to defeat the evil exes of a girl he'd really like to date. The film, being directed by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Spaced), has a full line-up of Hollywood hipsters and a ton of early acclaim. I dig the books, the movie should be great fun.
10. Shutter Island - How many times can Martin Scorsese's insane asylum thriller get pushed back? Really, what are they waiting for?
11. Rapunzel - Disney has been on fire this year, and hopes to continue their winning streak into next year. Toy Story 3 is almost a guaranteed hit, i can only hope that their animated take on Rapunzel is as well.
12. The Social Network - David Fincher tackles the Facebook origins story with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin and a cast lead by Jesse Eisenberg. If Fincher's on the case, the story is guaranteed to be delivered in a way far more intriguing than one would suppose
13. Robin Hood - Ridley Scott's rough and tumble take on a legend seems to feature all the battles and medieval dirt one would imagine and stars Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett in the lead roles.
14. Paul - Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite as a pair of comic book geeks who encounter an alien outside of Area 51 on their cross-country trip through the US. If it sounds ludicrous, you clearly haven't seen Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz.
15. The Rum Diary - Johnny Depp takes on another Hunter S. Thompson tale in a project that has long been slated for production and is finally on its way to release.
16. Clash of the Titans - I don't think there's much possibility of this actually being 'good'. I do hope, however, to get something at least as fun and campy as the original concept. Who knows, i've been proven wrong before.
17. Greenberg - Noah Baumbach's name attached to an indie underachiever story is more than enough to earn this Ben Stiller vehicle a spot on the list.
18. Adele Blanc-Sec - Luc Besson returns with a film adaptation of a beloved French comic centered around a cynical heroine in Victorian era Paris. Described as a mix of Indiana Jones and Hellboy, the production has a massive budget and early images suggest a lavish look.
19. Black Swan - Darren Aronofsky returns with a thriller that centers on the relationship between rival ballerinas played by Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. The details are mysterious and sketchy, but Aronofsky has done wonders with odd casting in the past and all that we can really expect is something unexpected.
20. The Green Hornet - For reasons that cannot by explained, eccentric director Michel Gondry is making the Green Hornet with Seth Rogen in the titular role. Gondry's last outing was the disappointing Be Kind Rewind, so we can only hope his affinity for kitschy nostalgia doesn't drop this project down a similar hole.
Others that look promising (though details are sketchy): Holy Rollers, The Runaways, Sympathy for Delicious, I Am Love, Jack Goes Boating, The Romantics, The Expendables, Nightmare on Elm Street, Predators, Howl, Hesher, Blue Valentine, Welcome to the Rileys