(Editor’s note: this article is not about the 2009 Roland Emmerich film of the same name)
Despite the negative connotations surrounding 2012, it’s actually shaping up to be a great year for film. It’s not to say that 2011 has been a bad or awful year for film (there’s still seven months left to turn the tide), but it’s fun to look ahead. In addition, the last two weeks have been full of interesting developments. Instead of running down an entire year of films that may are still in development, let’s look at four films that should be hitting theaters next year.
Untitled Terrence Malick Project
It’s hard to believe that we’re only a few weeks away from the release of a new Terrence Malick film and there’s another film already in the can. To imagine Malick going from twenty years in between films to two years in between projects. The latest effort from Malick currently doesn’t have a title and perhaps, it shouldn’t. While “a powerful and moving love story” may have the ability to achieve mainstream success, an Untitled Terrence Malick Porject warns the normies that this film may not be for them and there’s a good chance that there won’t be any act breaks.
Thanks to the new patron saint of cinema, Megan Ellison, The Master was rescued from the depths of development hell and is quickly heading towards a June 2011 production start. While the project’s delays and false starts may have lost the ever so busy Jeremy Renner, it has gained Joaquin Phoenix in the down time. From what I remember of the draft that leaked early in 2010, The Master was obviously bold and ambitions and faintly reminded me of the work of John Steinbeck or at least the scope of it. Paul Thomas Anderson could have directed Alvin & the Chipmunks 3 and it would’ve been on the top of the must see list. The biggest issue that I have with the struggle to bring The Master to the screen is how easy it seems for Wes Anderson to secure financing for his films every single time while Paul Thomas Anderson can’t find anything. Obviously, the subject matters of The Master (Scientology) and There Will Be Blood (Oil, Religion) aren’t that commercial, but I have to assume Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson’s films make the same amount of money and more often than not, Paul Thomas Anderson’s films garner more Oscar nominations.
Untitled Osama bin Laden Project
Another Megan Ellison production! Look, it’s Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, the director and writer, respectively of The Hurt Locker are uniting again for a film about the capture and death of Osama bin Laden. It’ll probably be a highly realistic action drama with an large ensemble cast of burly dudes. Sign me up!
It feels as if we’ve reached our saturation point already with Quentin Tarantino’s next film, but that’s what happened with Inglourious Basterds. The script leaked early and the rabid on line community spent weeks picking their dream cast until Brad Pitt and the cast came together. With this film, we’re in the midst of a waiting game: will Will Smith agree to play Django or will he pass? From what I’ve read of the screenplay, it seems like a typical Will Smith part, but at the same time, it’s something completely different for him. 2012 is going to the return of Will Smith and he could just stick to appearing in the cash grab, Men In Black 3 or star in both films and quickly restore any credibility lost from MIB3. Since it’s a Tarantino film, it’ll be very chatty and rather violent, but it may not have the ability to cross over the way that Basterds did.
2012 is just limited to these four films. A lot more can happen between now and 2012. Maybe the Coens get something going. Maybe Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond The Pines comes together and gets a 2012 release or Giorgos Lanthimos’ (Dogtooth) new film gets a stateside release. And of course, there will be about 45 movies starring Jeremy Renner