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Oklahoma, its stars to get spotlight with 2013 films

Two movies made in Oklahoma could be in the running for Oscars.
by Matthew Price and Brandy McDonnell Published: January 18, 2013
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June

“Now You See Me”

A group of renegade magicians (played by Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Morgan Freeman, among others) are tracked by the FBI after they stage a series of bank heists and reward their audiences with the spoils. “Now You See Me” also stars Woody Harrelson, Melanie Laurent (“Inglourious Basterds”) and Dave Franco, and is directed by Louis Leterrier (“Clash of the Titans”). (June 7)

“Man of Steel”

Zack Snyder (“Watchmen”) gets his chance to define Superman for a new generation. Henry Cavill (“The Tudors”) replaces Brandon Routh in the blue tights as the hero from Krypton who can leap tall buildings and bend steel, as well as his alter ego Clark Kent. Amy Adams is scheduled for Lois Lane; Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner play Superman's Kryptonian and Earthling fathers, respectively. The film was written by David Goyer (“Batman Begins”) and is produced by Christopher Nolan, whose success on the “Batman” franchise Warner Bros. would no doubt like to replicate. (June 14)

“This Is the End”

“Superbad” writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg directed a huge cast of friends and colleagues — all playing slightly exaggerated versions of themselves — in this comedy about celebrities attending a party at James Franco's house on the night of a global apocalypse. “This is the End” features Rogen, Goldberg and Franco with Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Rihanna, Emma Watson, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera and almost everyone else. (June 14)

“World War Z”

Brad Pitt jumps on the overloaded zombie bandwagon as a United Nations employee struggling to stem the outbreak of a worldwide plague of undead nasties in this horror epic directed by Marc Forster (“Quantum of Solace,” “Finding Neverland”), based on Max Brooks' best-selling novel. (June 21)

“Monsters University”

Pixar's first prequel traces how future champion scarer James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (voice of John Goodman) and his wisecracking pal Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) became best friends back in college, years before the events of 2001's “Monsters, Inc.” (June 21)

“White House Down”

Channing Tatum plays a Secret Service agent who must save the president (Jamie Foxx) after a paramilitary group overruns 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Jenkins and Jason Clarke co-star in the latest action vehicle from director Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “2012”). (June 28)

“Kick-Ass 2”

New heroes are inspired by the example of Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), which leads to a parade of self-made superheroes, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). The Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), now renamed something unprintable, decides to hunt these heroes down, leaving Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) as the heroes' best chance for survival. (June 28)

July

“The Lone Ranger”

Clayton Moore will always be the “Masked Man” everyone remembers, and Klinton Spilsbury (of the misbegotten 1981 version) will always be the one everyone forgets, but with Gore Verbinski's radically reimagined version of “The Lone Ranger,” Armie Hammer gets his chance to be legendary in the saddle as trigger-happy lawman John Reid. Oklahoma City's Mason Cook appears as Will, and Johnny Depp co-stars as Tonto, who has a bird on his head. (July 3)

“Pacific Rim”

In the five years since “Hellboy: The Golden Army,” Guillermo Del Toro came close to directing the “Hobbit” films but instead opted for global catastrophe, alien invasion-style. In “Pacific Rim” a destructive intergalactic force is fought off by colossal robots piloted by humans. The humans include Ron Perlman and Charlie Hunnam, of “Sons of Anarchy,” Idris Elba, of “The Wire,” and Charlie Day, of “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” which is like putting all forces of cable cult hits against the ugly interplanetary horde. (July 12)

“The Wolverine”

Based on the classic Chris Claremont-Frank Miller comic book miniseries, “The Wolverine” finds Logan (Hugh Jackman) in Japan training to be a samurai warrior. James Mangold (“Walk the Line”) directs after a tortured preproduction that was scuttled first by the 2011 earthquake in Japan, then by the departure of director Darren Aronofsky. (July 26)

August

“Elysium”

With his first feature film, “District 9,” Neill Blomkamp used science fiction to create a moving allegory about South African apartheid, and with “Elysium,” he takes on economic class distinctions. In 2159, the “haves” live in off-world colonies while the “have-nots” deal with overcrowded, ravaged Earth, and Max (Matt Damon) takes a renegade approach to bringing equality to the disparate worlds. The film co-stars Jodie Foster, Alice Braga and Sharlto Copley. (Aug. 9)

“2 Guns”

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg star as competing federal agents who have to go on the run together when their joint undercover operation goes awry. Bill Paxton, Paula Patton and Oklahoma native James Marsden co-star in the action-packed crime drama. (Aug. 16)

September

“Rush”

Set in the 1970s — the glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing — two-time Oscar winner Ron Howard's first movie since 2009's “Angels and Demons” chronicles the real-life rivalry between charismatic Englishman James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth, “The Avengers”) and methodical Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl, “Inglourious Basterds”). (Sept. 20)

“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2”

In the animated sequel, inventor Flint Lockwood (Tulsa native Bill Hader) discovers his infamous machine that makes food out of water is still operational and creating culinary beasts like tacodiles, shrimpanzees and apple pie-thons. (Sept. 27)

October

“Oldboy”

An advertising executive (Josh Brolin), inexplicably kidnapped and held prisoner for years without any indication of his captor's motives, is suddenly released, triggering his quest to discover who orchestrated his bizarre punishment and the reasons behind it. Spike Lee directs, while Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson co-star. (Oct. 11)

“Gravity”

Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play astronauts struggling to get back to Earth after an accident sets them adrift in space in the latest movie from writer-director Alfonso Cuaron (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Children of Men”). (Oct. 18)

November

“Ender's Game”

Novelist Orson Scott Card has been protective about his 1985 novel since its publication, turning down several opportunities to adapt the story about a gifted young soldier preparing for the latest in a series of battles against invading aliens. The story finally comes to the screen with Asa Butterfield (“Hugo”) as Ender, Abigail Breslin as Valentine and Harrison Ford as Col. Hyrum Graff. Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) directs. (Nov. 1)

“Thor: The Dark World”

Chris Hemsworth returns as the Norse god of thunder in the sequel to 2011's “Thor.” Thor faces a race of dark elves in this second outing, which returns Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings and Anthony Hopkins from the first film, along with Tom Hiddleston, who menaced Thor and friends in Marvel's “The Avengers.” (Nov. 8)

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

In the sequel to last year's blockbuster, District 12 heroes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark (Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson) have survived the 74th Annual Hunger Games, but during their victory tour of Panem (post-apocalyptic North America), it is clear that rebellion is brewing. So, ruthless President Snow (Donald Sutherland) plans a special version of the government-mandated teenage death-match for the 75th Hunger Games, or Quarter Quell. “Hunger Games” stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz are returning for “Catching Fire,” which will be directed by Francis Lawrence (“I Am Legend”) and co-star franchise newcomers Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone and Sam Claflin. (Nov. 22)

December

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

Peter Jackson's version of J.R.R. Tolkien's first Middle Earth novel goes ever, ever on with the second installment in which Bilbo (Martin Freeman) finally arrives at the Lonely Mountain and must square off with the dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch of “Sherlock”). Ian McKellen and Hugo Weaving return as Gandalf and Elrond, respectively. (Dec. 13)

“Anchorman: The Legend Continues”

Fans of 2004's “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” have had the smell of desire for a sequel for years, and so director Adam McKay has reteamed with Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner for an update of the San Diego news team, who will no doubt take viewers to Pleasure Town. It will all go down like scotchy, scotchy scotch. (Dec. 20)

“Last Vegas”

In what looks like “The Hangover, Part 10,” a group of friends in their late 60s (Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) throw a bachelor party for the last marriage holdout of their group. Director Jon Turteltaub (“The Sorcerer's Apprentice”) directs from a script by Dan Fogelman (“The Guilt Trip”) (Dec. 20)

“Jack Ryan”

Tom Clancy's all-purpose international hero of the title is portrayed by Chris Pine as a young CIA analyst who uncovers a Russian plot to sabotage the U.S. economy by terrorist attack. Keira Knightley co-stars as Cathy Ryan, and Kenneth Branagh directs and co-stars as evil Viktor Cherevin. Kevin Costner plays William Harper. (Dec. 25)

To be determined

“August: Osage County”

John Wells' film adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play about the dysfunctional Weston family was filmed around Bartlesville in late 2012, which means that heavy hitters such as Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch were all stomping around Sooner soil. The cast also includes Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Margo Martindale and Abigail Breslin.

“Out of the Furnace”

The thriller stars Christian Bale and Casey Affleck as brothers whose hopes of escaping the economically stagnant Rust Belt are decimated when one lands in prison and the other gets entangled in a violent crime ring. The latest film from “Crazy Heart” writer-director Scott Cooper also stars Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker and Zoe Saldana.

by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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