Given the on-going success of comicbook-related movies in 2012 we can expect to see more of the same in 2013. In this article we will look forward to a number of films that boast a comicbook theme or tie-in. Looking forward to 2013 we can expect to see the following films; all of which have some kind of comicbook connection — GI Joe: Retaliation (IDW) March 29, Iron Man 3 May 3, The Wolverine July 26, Kick Ass 2 June 28, Thor The Dark World Nov 28 (Marvel), Man of Steel June 14, Red 2 Aug 2 (DC), The Lone Ranger July 3, After Earth June 7 (Dynamite) Smurfs 2 July 31 (Papercutz), and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Oct 4 (Dark Horse) — perhaps not all as high-profile as the lineup we had in 2012, but all funnybook movies to be sure.
Working our way through the year, we first come across GI Joe: Retaliation which was previously slated for a June 29, 2012 release was delayed to March 29, 2013 — officially to add 3D and boost interest in international markets — however the actual reason was to reshoot scenes strengthening Channing Tatum’s character’s relationship with Dwayne Johnson’s. Apparently between the filming and scheduled release Tatum’s star has rocketed into the stratosphere which the film’s producers wanted to capitalize on, requiring the reshoots as Tatum’s character was killed off early in the film. Presumably the week of reshoots gives Tatum a larger role in the film and keeps his character around for the next sequel.
In May (just in time for Free Comic Book Day) we get Iron Man 3 where the Man of Iron goes up against the Mandarin (an Eastern-themed villain that possesses 10 rings of power and has been a long-standing foe of Iron Man’s in the comic). The film takes place after the events of last year’s The Avengers' movie (although while the Avengers will probably be referenced, they will not appear).
It is in June that we really kick off the summer funnybook films with two new entrants into the funnybook film world (After Earth and Man of Steel) and one sequel (Kick Ass 2). First up is After Earth (June 7) which is the new film from M. Night Shyamalan starring Will Smith and his son Jaden where the father and son crash-land on a desolate Earth, much to their dismay, and now must face off against all sorts of terrible creatures who want to eat them. Dynamite has already begun to issue prequel stories based on the concepts developed in the film, and hopes to build a larger universe on them. Next is the long-awaited Zack Snyder re-launch of the Superman mythos (June 14) — which hopefully fares much better than the last re-launch. The month closes out with Kick Ass 2 (June 28) the ultra-violent follow-up to Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.’s creator-owned Marvel comic. While we were not big fans of the comic itself, we really did enjoy the first film.
July also delivers a trio of films The Lone Ranger, The Wolverine, and Smurfs 2. The Lone Ranger (July 3) — who first appeared on radio in 1933 — resurrects the iconic Texas lawman, and gives him the Jerry Bruckheimer of an over-the-top blockbuster feel (complete with Johnny Depp as Tonto — as an unavoidable aside, are we to believe that there was not a single competent native American actor who could have played this role? It is sort of like casting John Wayne as Genghis Khan). Next up is Hugh Jackman reprising his role as the clawed X-Man in this sequel to his own origin (July 26), but precedes the X-Men films. Finally the very silly Smurfs 2 (July 31) hits the big screen with Neil Patrick Harris reprising his role in the film. You may not be a fan of the cartoon series (We know we weren’t), but the first film was fun, and this one should be as well.
The year closes out with three more funnybook films Red 2 (Aug 2), Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Oct 4), and Thor The Dark World (Nov 28). The first film is based on the DC comic that became a film in 2010 starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren who all were former spies classified as Retired Extremely Dangerous (RED). A Dame to Kill For is the follow up to Sin City, the 2005 Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller film that was based on Miller’s seminal comic book work. This time around we get to see more hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants in incredibly violent ways. As with this year’s Iron Man film, Thor also follows the events of the Avengers film, as Marvel looks to continue churning out big-budget comicbook films that will help expand its universe (and the coffers of Disney, its parent company).
Come back at the end of the year, and we’ll let you know how each of these films faired.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.