Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The pitch: So theres this wizard boy (still played by Daniel Radcliffe). He goes to wizard school, and plays hockey with a broomstick. The kids are sure to love it.
In the directors chair: David Yates, once again commandeering the good ship Potter after a solid job on Order of the Phoenix.
Star power: All the usual suspects, with Jim Broadbent added as Horace Slughorn. Its amazing that theres a single actor left in British Equity who isnt already involved, but still.
The early word: Previews for Potter nuts have revealed some dissatisfaction with the ending — will reshoots fix it in time?
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
The pitch: Its the back-story for everyones favourite X-Men character, Logan (Hugh Jackman), as Fox milks the franchise every which way — it has a Magneto script waiting in the wings too.
In the directors chair: Gavin Hood, who followed up his Oscar-winning South African gang drama Tsotsi with the underwhelming Rendition, here gets his first blockbuster payday.
Star power: Joining Jackman are Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, Liev Schreiber (Sabretooth), Dominic Monaghan (Beak), and Lynn Collins (Silver Fox).
The early word: The movie was stung by reports of on-set squabbling between Hood and Fox CEO Tom Rothman, then damaged further when an illegal copy was leaked to the Internet.
Angels and Demons
The pitch: Tastemakers be damned: despite critical derision The Da Vinci Code made a ton of money, so herewith the further adventures of Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon.
In the directors chair: Ron Howard again. Cue the sound of critics worldwide sharpening their knives.
Star power: Tom Hanks returns, but without Audrey Tautou. Ewan McGregor steps in as villainous Vatican insider Carlo Ventresca, and Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer is Hankss rent-a-brunette sidekick.
The early word: The Vatican is apparently mulling over a boycott, and not just because Pope Benedict thought the first movie lacked suspense.
The pitch: Filling in an Arnold-shaped hole in the Terminator mythos, the film returns to the war between humans and machines after a nuclear holocaust.
In the directors chair: McG, the pop video and Charlies Angels whiz known to his mum as Joseph McGinty Nichol.
Star power: Well, we all know Christian Bale is in it, thanks to that apoplectic YouTube wig-out, but his co-stars are Aussie hunk Sam Worthington, Bryce Dallas Howard and Helena Bonham Carter.
The early word: Unlikely to top James Camerons T2 for showmanship, but here's hoping that (a) the plot makes sense and (b) McG doesnt overdo the flashy editing.
The pitch: The early days of Captain James T Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise, in a reboot of the most popular sci-fi series in history.
In the directors chair: JJ Abrams, the writing-directing-producing maestro behind Lost, M:i:III and Cloverfield.
Star power: Virtual newcomer Chris Pine is Kirk, Heroess Zachary Quinto plays Spock, and Simon Pegg is Scotty, with the marquee-name boost of Winona Ryder and Eric Bana in there too.
The early word: Internet buzz suggests Abrams has pulled off the feat of making it both accessible and reverential, with breathtaking visuals and a lot of goofy charm.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
The pitch: Its gone dino-crazy, this summer. The sabre-toothed pals from the first two instalments of Ice Age deal with babies and further life lessons, while Scrat the squirrel just tries to hold on to his acorn.
In the directors chair: The man behind the second film, Carlos Saldanha, who must be bored with having his name compared with a certain electric-guitar legend.
Star power: Same old voices, though Simon Pegg chips in this time as a swashbuckling one-eyed weasel named Buck.
The early word: Its in 3D, but some would say we need a third Ice Age movie about as much as we need global warming.
(The Daily Telegraph)
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