Collider’s Most Anticipated Movies: July to September

     July 1, 2013


We’re smack dab in the middle of the summer movie season, and while we’ve already seen our fair share of hits and misses, it’s time to take a look at what the second half of of the summer has in store.  There are plenty of high-profile releases heading our way over the next three months, with big tentpoles like Pacific Rim and The Wolverine, more comedic genre fare like Kick-Ass 2 and The World’s End, and even character-driven indies like The Spectacular Now and Prince Avalanche.

In the latest installment of our Most Anticipated series, Matt, Adam, and Dave run down what films they’re most looking forward to from July to September.  Hit the jump to read on.

Matt’s Picks



Director: Guillermo del Toro

CastCharlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Ron Perlman

Release Date: July 12th

Why I’m Excited: Guillermo del Toro‘s been gone for far too long.  He’s the rare director who can bring his unique vision to intimate projects like Pan’s Labyrinth and mainstream pictures like Blade II.  After false starts on The Hobbit and At the Mountains of Madness, del Toro has finally returned, and returned in literally a big way.  Pacific Rim seems like too much fun, and while comparisons to Transformers are inevitable (because some people think giant robots didn’t exist in movies until 2007), del Toro looks like he’s built a fleshed-out world rather than just relied on giant mechs beating up unique monsters.  The marketing has mostly shied away from anything character related, but that’s because action sells.  Del Toro has never shortchanged character, and I don’t expect he’s going to start with Pacific Rim.  Most of all, this film can be a rebuke to those who say there are no original blockbusters.  Tired of sequels, reboots, and remakes?  Put your money with your mouth is.



Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

CastRyan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Vithaya Pansringarm

Release Date: July 19th

Why I’m Excited: I’m a Refn fan, especially after Drive blew me away.  He matures as a filmmaker with each feature, but he refuses to play it safe.  His films are steeped in violence, but he always goes out of his way to make it look horrifying where other directors might try to make it cool.  Only God Forgives will certainly be violent, but the trailer strongly indicates that Refn has not only continued to grow as a director, but still maintained a distinct style.  The film was deeply divisive when it premiered at Cannes, but that only makes me more eager to see it.



Director: Neill Blomkamp

Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura, Diego Luna, Alice Braga, and William Fichtner

Release Date: August 9th

Why I’m Excited: Income inequality has become one of the defining issues of the 2010s, but few films are being made to address that gaping disparity that affects our country.  Granted, it’s not easy to bring that subtext into a mainstream picture, but Neill Blomkamp has shown he’s unafraid to take social critique and wrap it in a big, bold sci-fi action film.  Elysium looks like his previous film, District 9, on steroids, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  It doesn’t feel like preaching when your hero is wearing an exoskeleton and one of the antagonists wields a sword.  District 9 set a high bar, but Elysium definitely has the potential to surpass Blomkamp’s excellent debut feature.



Director: Edgar Wright

Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Rosamund Pike.

Release Date: August 23rd

Why I’m Excited:  The film is billed as the end of “The Cornetto Trilogy” (following Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), but the trilogy is much more than simply being written by Wright and Pegg, the presence of the eponymous ice cream, and a shortcut involving fences.  What really impresses me about Shaun and Hot Fuzz is the structure of the screenplay.  Everything in the first half is re-appropriated in the second half, and it’s brilliant.  Then there’s also the clever jokes and playing off genre conventions without ever becoming parody.  Judging by the trailer, this could be the rare third installment that doesn’t pale in comparison to the previous two films.



Directors: Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn

Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, James Caan, Kristen Schaal, Benjamin Bratt, Will Forte, and Neil Patrick Harris.

Release Date: September 27th

Why I’m ExcitedCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is one of my favorite movies of the last decade, and I’m ashamed I didn’t see it in theaters.  It’s not just funny, but it’s delightfully strange and surprisingly twisted, especially for what appears to be a family film.  The movie almost rebukes that genre by having this scene, which I have no idea how it got past the censors.  It’s a tough act to follow, especially with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller no longer at the helm, but I’m incredibly encouraged by the presence of screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (Horrible Bosses) and co-director Kris Pearn, who was the story director on the first film.  And if nothing else, I will be won over by the food-animal hybrid puns like “Shrimpanzees” and “Mosquitoast”.

[Note: These films also come out over the next three months.  I’ve seen them, and you should too: Fruitvale Station, Act of Killing, The Spectacular Now, Prince Avalanche, You’re Next, I Declare War, Don Jon]

Adam’s Picks


Director: Guillermo del Toro

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Clifton Collins Jr., Max Martini, and Rob Kazinsky

Release Date: July 12th

Why I’m Excited: Someone handed director Guillermo del Toro $200 million and said “go play.”  That’s why I’m excited.  Del Toro has wonderful filmmaking sensibilities and a heavy fondness for geek-friendly fare, and a studio has finally given him the chance to work his magic on a giant canvas.  The story was practically inconsequential after that, but the prospect of seeing giant robots fighting giant monsters through the eyes of del Toro makes me that much more eager to see the finished product, and Stringer Bell himself as a commanding officer named “Stacker Pentecost” is the cherry on top.



Director: Neill Blomkamp

Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Wagner Moura, Diego Luna, and William Fichtner

Release Date: August 9th

Why I’m Excited: We’re always bemoaning the lack of original content these days, but Pacific Rim and Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium mark two incredibly promising original entries in the sci-fi genre in the same year.  I adored Blomkamp’s blending of interesting sci-fi and social consciousness in District 9, and the same mix of high entertainment value and timely moral quandary appears to be on display in Elysium.  Here’s a film that promises to wow audiences with exciting chase sequences and unique visuals, while also tackling big issues that are incredibly timely.  Blomkamp could have probably taken on any number of sequels, reboots, or franchises after the success of District 9, but the fact that he was eager to follow that film up with an original idea of his own makes me plenty excited to see the finished product.



Director: Edgar Wright

Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan

Release Date: August 23rd

Why I’m Excited: Edgar Wright is a truly unique voice in the filmmaking world, and so each of his new films is worthy of being greeted with a great deal of anticipation and glee.  However, The World’s End is special because it acts as a closing chapter, in a way, to the first part of Wright’s career.  With Ant-Man on the horizon, Wright is sure to tackle some big and exciting projects in the near future, but The World’s End marks another return to a small British locale before the filmmaker steps up to the Big Leagues and makes himself a superhero movie.  Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite films of all time and I love Hot Fuzz to death, so I’m keen to see what Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost have cooked up as the final entry in their unofficial Cornetto trilogy.  The film’s theatrical trailer promises plenty of wit, chemistry, and joyful action by way of “normal folk” confronting a global disaster, so odds are incredibly favorable that we’re in for a treat*.

*I’m so sorry.



Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, and Viola Davis

Release Date: September 20th

Why I’m Excited: While there are certainly good films to be found in the summertime, I’ll admit that I’m already starting to suffer from tentpole fatigue.  One of the first character dramas to come our way this fall is the crime thriller Prisoners, and judging by the pic’s unbelievably intense (and a tad too revealing) first trailer, this one’s going to be right up my alley.  Coming off a Best Actor Oscar nomination last year, Hugh Jackman appears to deliver a strong lead performance as a father whose daughters have been kidnapped, and the story looks to take him to some dark places.  Buoyed by a stellar supporting cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and Maria Bello, a character-driven director in Incendies helmer Denis Villeneuve, and sure-to-be-amazing camera work from legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, Prisoners is one I will not be missing.



Director: Cody Cameron and Chris Pearn

Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris, Benjamin Bratt, Terry Crews, James Caan, Will Forte, and Kristen Schaal

Release Date: September 27th

Why I’m Excited: As a ginormous fan of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s delightfully goofy animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, I’ve been looking forward to this sequel for some time now.  Despite the fact that the follow-up has a script by Horrible Bosses scribes Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, I was initially a bit unsure of whether the sequel could capture the same kind of humor as the first pic, given that Lord and Miller not returning as directors.  However, the first trailer for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 put any and all trepidations out the window, as the Cloudy world is just as strange as ever, complete with a bevy of puns, overall weirdness, and the return of Neil Patrick Harris’ talking monkey.

[Note: I’ve already seen The Spectacular NowFruitvale Station, Don Jon, and Prince Avalanche, all of which I wholeheartedly recommend.]

Dave’s Picks



DirectorGuillermo del Toro

Cast:  Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman

Release Date: July 12th

Why I’m Excited: While I’m just as big a fan of del Toro as Matt and Adam, my fascination with giant robots and monsters goes back to my childhood.  Starting with the Universal classic King Kong and gaining ground with the series of Godzilla movies, my kid brain was blown away by the Japanese invasion of the giant fighting robots of Ultraman, Voltron, Gaiking, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Neon Genesis Evangelion and, ultimately, Gundam.  It’s this last property I’d love to see in a live-action adaptation, but I’m beyond anxious to see del Toro’s original take on what is hopefully the first of a wave of these sorts of films.

Honorable MentionRon Howard’s Rush opening September 20th.



Director: Sebastián Cordero

CastSharlto Copley, Embeth Davidtz and Michael Nyqvist

Release Date: August 2nd

Why I’m Excited: Yes, I too was excited about Blomkamp getting back into the sci-fi game with Elysium, and the early looks are certainly encouraging.  However, I’m a bit burnt out on the “Us vs the 1%” theme (far too much of that in reality) so I’m going with another Copley-starring sci-fi flick in Europa Report.  Sadly, it might be the closest I get to seeing humans explore the Jovian moon in my lifetime.  It also feels pared down and honest, more like District 9 than Elysium.  The horror element seen in the trailer has me worried a bit, but I’m still interested enough to see how it all shakes out.

Honorable Mention: Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium opening August 9th.



DirectorAdam Wingard

Cast: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, AJ Bowen, Wendy Glenn, Amy Seimetz, Ti West and Simon Barrett

Release Date: August 23rd

Why I’m Excited: Wingard, Barrett and company have been having a field day in the horror genre with anthology films V/H/S, V/H/S/2 and The ABCs of Death.  I’ve also heard great things from people who’ve already seen the film, saying that it subverts the sub-genre of home invasions in a rather enjoyable way.  I’ve been trying to stay as spoiler-free as possible so that I can go into the film fresh.  Easier said than done these days.

Honorable Mention: James Wan’s The Conjuring opening July 19th.



DirectorDavid Twohy

CastVin Diesel, Karl Urban, Dave Bautista, Katee Sackhoff and Bokeem Woodbine

Release Date: September 6th

Why I’m Excited: It’s been almost a decade since the second installment of Twohy and Diesel’s anti-hero trilogy, so if that’s not enough of a reason to get excited I don’t know what is.  From the constant stream of material coming from Diesel’s Facebook page and Twohy’s obvious passion for the project, this one has clearly been made for the fans.  Hopefully the pair has learned from the flaws of The Chronicles of Riddick and will stay true to their vision.  We’ll find out for sure in September.

Honorable Mention: James Mangold’s The Wolverine opening July 26th



Director: Nimród Antal

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Mackenzie Gray, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo

Release Date: August 9th, September 27th in IMAX 3D

Why I’m Excited: This one seems to have fallen through the cracks and I’m perfectly fine with that.  We got a teaser trailer about a month ago and that’s all I needed to sign on for this picture.  I’m a fan of rock opera type films anyway, but only Darren Lynn Bousman (Repo! The Genetic Opera, The Devil’s Carnival) has been making an effort to bring them to the screen.  Bousman, however, uses original soundtracks.  Antal gets to have friggin Metallica not only supplying their classic brand of hard-hitting metal to the score, but appearing on stage as well.  As a bonus, the more-than-capable DeHaan is caught up in the middle of this madness.  I can’t wait to see what they do with this one!

Honorable Mention: Edgar Wright’s The World’s End opening August 23rd.


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