Summer is finally here, and some big movie titles are missing. A-list brands like Harry Potter, Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean are done — for now — and Twilight's next chapter won't come out until Halloween. With such big shoes to fill, who's going to step up and own the summer? As usual, a couple of reboots and sequels come in as favorites, but there's also a few new titles that could stake their claim (some more literally than others). We've rounded up some of the most promising movies of the summertime.
Men in Black 3 (May 25)
(Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures)
Alright, so it's not technically summer, but a Will Smith blockbuster action movie anywhere close to July has to be acknowledged. Fifteen years after Men In Black helped continue his half-decade reign of summer blockbusters, Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return once more to the MIB with newcomer Josh Brolin as Jones' younger self. Aside from Brolin, with his picture-perfect Jones impersonation, Emma Thompson heads up the modern MIB; Bill Hader makes an appearance as Andy Warhol; and Jemaine Clement, of Flight of the Concords fame, gets to be the villain of the day. And Men In Black 3's A-list of celebrity cameos doesn't stop there; Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga and Tim Burton all swing by for some fun.
Prometheus (June 8)
Ridley Scott's Alien spawned one of the most iconic monsters in horror history... and more than a few regrettable offshoots. For his latest film Prometheus, Scott, original writer John Spaihts and LOST scribe Damon Lindelhof have teamed up to make a new story that may or may not be a direct prequel to the world of Alien. Reports of the xenomorph monster making an appearance are mixed, but one thing is for sure — H.R. Giger's amazing architecture is on display in full-force, promising to make viewers feel like they're on a whole other world.
Oh, it's no joke. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, produced by Tim Burton, is the second story from Seth Grahame-Smith (author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). It features Benjamin Walker as our sixteenth president, who apparently used his axe for a lot more than log cabins. While the premise is clearly tongue-in-cheek, the action shows to be top-notch — Civil war reenactments, ax-assisted marital arts, and all of it in eye-popping 3D. There's no glittering teenage vampires in this tale, but we're pretty sure there's an audience that won't mind in the least.
The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3)
With the series getting rebooted quicker than a Hulk movie, you might have reason to pause for the latest incarnation of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. It's been ten years since Tobey and Kirsten shared their epic upside-down kiss, but only five since a giant Thomas Hayden Church made of sand tried to crush Spider-Man for his bad dance routines. (On second thought, maybe we should forget that one.) So what's Marc Webb (the director of (500) Days of Summer) got in store for The Amazing Spider-Man? A new Spidey (Andrew Garfield) with lots of family questions, a slightly more sinister suit and one rather large lizard-man to smash up the city. And Peter Parker prefers blondes in this adaptation: Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy takes the romantic lead, with Mary Jane nowhere in site.
The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)
While critics aren't sure where the new Spider-Man will rank in the canon, Christopher Nolan's reboot of the Batman series is arguably its best appearance on the silver screen. And considering Tim Burton's excellent entries, that's no small compliment. The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final film of his take on Bruce Wayne, finds the hero still deposed and disgraced after taking the fall for Harvey Dent. Lucky for us, the appearance and mayhem of Bane (Tom Hardy) makes sure that this will not be a movie about retirement. Anne Hathaway might not replace Michelle Pfeiffer as the quintessential Catwoman, but all we ask is that she help us forget Halle Berry's terrible spinoff. Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson and Michael Caine are all back, and other notable newcomers include Joseph Gordon-Levitt (perhaps as Robin?) and a vehicle that is definitely not a car.