A new Transformers movie? Several comic book movies? Natalie Portman every which way? 2011 will truly be the theatrical Year of the Nerd. Let the man-dates commence.
The Green Hornet, January 14
Everyone pretends to fondly remember the 60s TV show, but really, if Bruce Lee hadn't played Kato, no one would have cared. Similarly, if Seth Rogen weren't playing Britt Reid and Christoph Waltz weren't the antagonist, there probably wouldn't be much buzz about the movie version. I haven't seen it yet; I probably will, but I can't guarantee I'll enjoy it.
Barney's Version, January 14
Rarely has Paul Giamatti led me astray, and barring too many Canadian filmmaking faux pas', it should be pretty good to see the Last of the Wild Jews work on screen.
Sanctum, February 4
Dear James Cameron: Stop making shit like this, because you make me want to see it, even though I know you're going to say something unbelievably dickheadish about how wonderful you are. Plus, you're going to make me scared of caves.
Unknown, February 18
After Taken, there should be no doubt that Liam Neeson can pull off a single-title movie.
The Adjustment Bureau, March 4
This Philip K. Dick adaptation was supposed to come out last year, but was delayed. The tale of the roles of fate and free will is finally coming out (I hope), in a pretty busy year for Matt Damon.
Paul, March 18
Never bet against Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. With a delightfully hipster-friendly cast, and only featuring the voice of Seth Rogen, this could be pretty good.
Limitless, March 18
Bradley Cooper out-awesoming himself thanks to AJ from Empire Record? I think so.
Your Highness, April 8
No need to even justify this one.
Source Code, April 1
An interesting idea, that could be made or broken by Russell Peters' performance. Yes, that Russell Peters. Who cares if it's good? Russell Peters. Oh, and Jeffrey Wright and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Thor, May 6
Casting a relative unknown in Chris Hemsworth is a bit of a risky bet, but if he pulls it off, he'll have his own franchise. Plus, he's surrounded by plenty of capable actors in supporting roles - Natalie Portman, Colm Feore, Anthony Hopkins.
Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides, May 20
As they've finally done away with Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley's lame romantic subplot, this will either end the franchise, or trigger another series of films based around Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow and other famous pirates not based on rides.
Green Lantern, June 17
Mostly made as an excuse to show off Ryan Reynolds' muscles, this could be interesting. I can't find its running time anywhere (admittedly, I haven't looked super hard), but I would wager that if it's less than 2 hours long, it won't work. Green Lantern is actually kind of a lame superhero, unless you invest a lot of time in him, and if the $150-million budget was spent more on editing than story, this film may be the weak spot in this string of comic book adaptations.
X-Men: First Class, June 3
After the lukewarm results of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this new reboot recognizes that fans do actually care about more than just Wolverine. We'll see if director Matthew Vaughn can pull it off.
Rise of the Apes, June 24
Essentially, this is Planet of the Apes, except it was human intervention that caused the damn, dirty apes. A good excuse to get Andy Serkis back in a motion-capture suit.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, July 1
Can the Transformers franchise kick-start the career of another marginally talented, moderately attractive former model by pairing her, inexplicably, with Shia LaBeouf? Only time will tell. And the wallets of hoards of nerds.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, July 15
With the end of the Harry Potter franchise, JK Rowling can officially take some time off to focus on organizing her lawsuits against other writers that are attempting to encroach upon her archetypal wizarding territory. That, or she could write a vampire book.
Captain America: The First Avenger, July 22
This won't quite do for Nazi thumping what Quentin Tarantino did, but it could certainly help elevate Chris Evans and his generic look and name to an entirely new level of stardom.
Cowboys & Aliens, July 29
How could a movie built on the premise that late 19th-century cowboys can ward off an alien invasion not be awesome?
The Smurfs, August 3
August is pretty dry thus far, but hey, Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria and Jayma Mays in live action roles? Nope, I still don't think I want to see it.
Abduction, September 23
Taylor Lautner sets out to prove that he can act with a shirt on in this thriller about finding out you're actually a missing person.
Straw Dogs, September 16
The original was controversial for its depictions of violence, so who knows how far director Rod Lurie will have to go to make this controversial. My guess? Same sex marriage.
Now, September 30
It's not a terribly new idea - no one dies, overpopulation is rampant - but Andrew Niccol has some interesting films under his belt, and some unique casting could make this worth a view.
Contagion, October 21
Steven Soderbergh gets to direct Matt Damon again, and his gritty, handheld technique could lend itself very nicely to a film like this.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, November 18
Sigh...I knew eventually there would come a month with so little expected that I would have to feature a Twilight movie. But, if I haven't seen one yet, it doesn't mean I'll see this one!
Sherlock Holmes 2, December 16
The odds of this coming out on time scare me, as Rachel MacAdams is still only rumoured to be returning, and the film doesn't actually have an official title yet, but if it makes it in 2011, it should be an excellent way to end off the year.