The last decade or so has been a good cinematic one for nerd culture. Comic books, once derided by the masses as "kid's stuff" are now the inspiration for Summer blockbusters. Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, both long considered niche genres, are being made into movies left and right thanks to the success of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. 2013 looks to continue the trend of nerd friendly movies. Here are 5 to keep on your watchlist:
Marvel Studios has been on fire in the last few years, scrubbing away the awful memories of the Thomas Jane adaptation of "Punisher" and the entire "Fantastic Four" franchise with excellent solo movies based on individual heroes and last year's smash team up "The Avengers." The most critically and financially successful of the Marvel solo franchises has been "Iron Man." The series has pretty much single-handedly revived Robert Downey, Jr.'s career and made billions at the box office. Marvel has chosen to kick off the 2013 Summer movie season with "Iron Man 3." This episode finally introduces comic fan favorite The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley, as the primary villain.
There are very few things that are more associated with nerds than the Star Trek franchise. But director J.J. Abrams has brought the series to the mainstream in a big way and his second foray into the Trek universe, "Star Trek Into Darkness" debuts on May 17. Abrams has kept quite the lid on this movie's plot, to the point that Benedict Cumberbatch's lead villain's name is still not officially known, but is rumored to be Khan Noonien Singh, the villain made famous by Ricardo Montalban in "Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan", a rumor Cumberbatch has denied.
The only entry on this list not based on a comic book, novel, or television show, "Pacific Rim" is an original story by "Hellboy" and "Pan's Labyrinth" director Guillermo Del Toro. While "Pacific Rim" may not be based off an existing franchise, it certainly pays homage to a variety of them. Telling the story about Earth's citizens building giant robots to fight giant monster that attack from the sea, Del Toro has built a story that pays tribute to Japanese monster movies like Godzilla and a whole slew of anime series about giant robots. Del Toro has aimed the viral marketing campaign straight at the geekiest of fans, from a "Kaiju Alert System" trailer to making a deal with Valve software to use the GlaDOS software voice from the popular "Portal" video game franchise as one of the robot's AI program voice.
The popular Orson Scott Card series of novels finally gets a proper big screen treatment in November when "Ender's Game" hits theaters. Director Gavin Hood has spared no expense in getting top caliber acting talent for this cerebral Sci-Fi tale. The movie stars such distinguished actors as Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld, and Viola Davis. The movie tells the story of a future Earth that has survived two conflicts with an alien species and sends its most gifted children to a military academy to train future fleet commanders. There have been 14 novels in Card's series so if the movie is a success, there's plenty to franchise from.
The second in a planned trilogy of movies from Peter Jackson based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and related appendices, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is one of the year's most highly anticipated. Not quite a month old, the first movie in the series, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has hauled in over $250 million in box office revenues. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" should complete the portion of the story told in "The Hobbit" and will introduce fan favorite hero Bard the Bowman. It also promises a huge FX-laden battle as the group fights the dragon Smaug, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.
What nerdy movie adaptations are you looking forward to in 2013? Let us know in the comments section.