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Wowie. Looks like 2012 is going to be packed with a lot of fantasy, medieval tales along with some interesting animated movies. Here’s the list of movies I’m going to keep an eye out for next year.

The Woman in Black

Yes I got interested in this before I watched the trailer, and yes, it was because of Daniel Radcliffe. No I’m not a crazy fan of Radcliffe but it was natural that I’d try to find out what the Potter kids were up to after the franchise ended. The Woman in Black definitely caught my attention – especially after I watched the trailer. Firstly, we’re going to watch Radcliffe in a role that is completely different. I know he had done another movie while he was still doing the Potter films, but this is his first after moving out of the HP world. I liked the way Radcliffe’s acting had matured in the last HP movie. I hope he’s done a commendable job in this movie.

Radcliffe plays a young lawyer who goes to a far-flung village to take care of a recently dead client’s papers. What he finds is that there is a ghost of a woman in the village and she is seeking revenge. The film is directed by James Watkins and also stars Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer. We’ll get to see this film early next year (February 3).

The Snow White Movies

What’s up with the new obsession with old fairy tales? This month, we’ve seen the trailers of two upcoming films – based on Snow White. Weird isn’t it? I mean they’re both based on the fairy tale, they both are slated for a 2012 release and they both sport a ‘twist in the classic tale’.

Mirror, Mirror, Tarsem Singh’s upcoming movie is supposed to be an adventure/comedy one in which Snow White joins the seven dwarves after she is exiled. As a team, they vow to reclaim Snow White’s kingdom – one which the evil Queen owns. The film stars Julia Roberts as the Queen, Lily Collins as Snow White, and our Social Network Winklevoss twins-playing Armie Hammer as the charming Prince. So instead of Prince Charming saving the day and destroying the Queen, it looks like Snow White is going to end up having to deal with her own life herself.

Tarsem Singh directed this year’s Greek mythology blah blah film ‘Immortals’. Seems like that one is doing well but let’s see what happens to Mirror, Mirror when it is released Mid-March next year.

Snow White and the Huntsman, all set to hit the big screen in June next year, is directed by Rupert Sanders. This is Sanders’ first film so there is a chance it will either mean the entrance of a new promising director, or it could mean that he should choose another profession. This movie introduces another twist to the fairy tale and it will be packed with action and adventure. It definitely looks darker than Mirror, Mirror and the story starts off in a similar manner to the original story, where the Queen sends a huntsman to kill Snow White so that she can be the fairest in the land. However, instead of killing Snow White, the huntsman becomes her protector and teaches her how to defeat the Queen. So here we have a swashbuckling Snow White ready to claim her right.

The film will star Charlize Theron as the Queen (I think that’s a good choice because she definitely is very beautiful). It has Kristen Stewart take on the role of Snow White (and I hope she will redeem herself after her wooden acting in the Twilight Saga). Chris Hemsworth is going to be our beloved huntsman.

Brave

Pixar’s upcoming animated film at the moment looks absolutely interesting. Can’t wait for Brave to hit theatres on June 22 next year. The story is set in Scotland, and hearing all the Scottish accents and looking at the artwork reminds me of How to Train Your Dragon (a film which I love to death).

The story is set in some medieval time and follows the story of a feisty princess who goes against custom but this has serious repercussions as a curse is set loose and her kingdom suffers as a result. However it is up to the princess to set things right and restore peace. Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman are the directors and as usual, the Pixar film features a glittering star cast (many of whom appeared in the Harry Potter movie series) such as Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Waters, as well as Kevin McKidd. Cars 2 was a big disappointment (probably the first for Pixar) but I hope this has the company back on track.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

In this animated movie, set for a March release, a 12-year-old boy goes in search of the one thing that will help him win the heart of a girl he loves. To find exactly what he needs, he must first know the story of the Lorax, a cute but bad-tempered creature who is fiercely protective of his world.

Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda, animators who have worked on animated movies such as Horton Hears a Who, Ice Age, Toy Story 2 and A Bug’s Life, are the directors of this movie. Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and Betty White are some of the actors who will lend their voices to characters in this film. This one is probably going to be cute, judging by the way the Lorax looks.

The Amazing Spider-Man

In this reboot of the famous superhero story, Peter Parker discovers that he has rare superhuman abilities and he must learn to deal with them. Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) is our beloved superhero in this one. The film also stars Emma Stone and Sally Field among some other well known actors.

Let’s hope this one isn’t a disappointment. I did like the old Spidey films (apart from Part 3), so I hope this one doesn’t end up as a disaster. The film is directed by Marc Webb (he directed 500 Days of Summer, (which I thought was a well-crafted film) and will be ready for theatres in July.

The Dark Knight Rises

Yup, this is part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight have not only proved to be amazing commercial successes, but have become critically acclaimed as well. It is no doubt that this film is hot property after Nolan’s Inception left audiences stunned last year.

There is a lot of talk about this movie but there is disappointment as well, because we do not know many plot details yet. All we know is that our misunderstood goodie superhero Batman is being hunted by the law (like that’s anything new) and he must face a new adversary called Bane. Batman is obviously going to be played by Christian Bale. Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson will reprise their roles in this final installment of the trilogy. Tom Hardy will be the new Gotham City baddie. We’ll also be getting the talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt on board, along with Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard. The Dark Knight Rises is set for release sometime in July next year.

The Bourne Legacy

We had no news about the fourth installment in the Bourne series until recently. The trilogy according to me was brilliant. I loved the movies to bits. Considering the writer of the Bourne Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum is now on board as the director (I’m talking about Tony Gilroy), we can rest assured that this one is going to be good, if not better, than the rest. What is the biggest thing I’m going to miss? Definitely Matt Damon. The guy is just the perfect Bourne. Too bad he won’t be in the Bourne Legacy and I was beginning to wonder why, but it’s all in the title. It’s about his legacy. What we’ll get instead is a new CIA based story that follows Robert Ludlum’s novels.

Sadly, there is no actual news about what the plot will be like. We don’t have any pictures, teasers or trailers yet either. However, we do know that Edward Norton will be in this one, along with Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz. No idea as of now about what characters they will be playing. Joan Allen will be back in her role as Pam Landy. If things go well, we’ll see the movie on the big screen in August.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 

This is the one movie I want to propel myself into the future for. Have I mentioned I am a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan (I know I have, just about a billion times on this blog). The production of the Hobbit movie therefore means a lot to probably all LOTR fans. This movie has been in the waiting for more than 4 years now. As far as I remember, it was supposed to be released in 2009 but there were rights issues. Then we had Peter Jackson saying that he wouldn’t want to be at the helm and therefore he put Guillermo Del Toro at the director’s seat. Finally when things started looking up, Del Toro called it quits and passed the mantle to Jackson. But fans weren’t complaining – they were thrilled – because Lord of the Rings Junior was back where he should have been in the first place. Then came the casting announcements and actor Martin Freeman was signed up to play Bilbo. The best news however was that oldies from the LOTR trilogy, such as Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood, were all going to reprise their roles! I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Since all the LOTR movies were released in Mid-December, the Hobbit is going to be no different. It will be out in 3D on December 14 next year. The story will be a prequel to the Lord of the Rings and it will have a young Bilbo Baggins (Frodo’s uncle) as the protagonist. The movie has been split into two parts. So while the first part will cover the adventures of Bilbo along with a group of dwarves, the second part will act more like an in-between film, joining the Hobbit and LOTR. In the first film, Bilbo will join the dwarves in finding treasure that is being protected by the feared dragon Smaug. Bilbo’s finding of the One Ring in Gollum’s cave is also part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s story.

Peter Jackson (who has always been very tech savvy) has used social networking sites such as Facebook to give us a glimpse into the work that is going on behind the scenes. He has been posting production diaries online and though sadly we have no trailers yet, there are enough of these behind the scenes goodies to keep us going.

Oh yeah…I still haven’t had enough of Middle Earth. I’m ready to go ‘there and back again’ once more.