The summer of 2012 was great for geeks. Three major films packed a wallop with The Avengers reigning supreme. Fanboys and girls were also treated to the end of an historic franchise (with The Dark Knight Rises) and the promising reboot of another (The Amazing Spider-Man). But in the interest of balance to those three great films was a slew of Bantha fodder. There were awful remakes in Dark Shadows and Total Recall. In a move bigger in hype than execution, Ridley Scott returned (or however he wants to put it) to the Alien franchise he started with Prometheus. There were plenty of other major disappointments and stupid ideas for movies (looking at you, Battleship) that threatened to derail the summer of geek chic.
2013 may not have another Avengers on the docket, but one Avenger will kick off the summer movie season on May 3 with the third (and Robert Downey Jr.'s final?) installment in the Iron Man solo saga. Ben Kingsley will play the Mandarin, perhaps Tony Stark's most iconic nemesis. This flick will be heavily influenced by the jaw-dropping graphic novel that inspired the first film's Iron Man character design, Iron Man: Extremis by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov.
Speaking of iconic nemeses (and films featuring actors that currently play Sherlock Holmes), two weeks later (May 17), J.J. Abrams delivers his epic sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch is the character John Harrison, which is too generic a character for someone with his talent and screen presence. Then again, I said the same thing about Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake. Whether Cumberbatch is, in fact, KHAN! or not, Abrams is on an unprecedented hot streak.
There are also a few less geek-out worthy offerings out in May. Baz Luhrmann directs another literary adaptation certain to be forced upon disinterested boyfriends everywhere in The Great Gatsby (out May 10). The mindless action nonsense season kicks off with the truly unnecessary Fast and the Furious 6. Also, squeezing the last two laughs out of a very limited premise will be The Hangover 3 (out May 24 with FF6). May those last two finally signal a merciful end.
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