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Looking ahead at Hollywood's 2011

With 2010 behind us and the Oscars and the Razzies getting ready tosort out the best and the worst from last year, it’s time to look aheadat what we’re excited about for in 2011.

With 2010 behind us and the Oscars and the Razzies getting ready to sort out the best and the worst from last year, it’s time to look ahead at what we’re excited about for in 2011.


So what’s on tap? More comic book adaptations, for one thing, with Marvel putting two more parts of its eventual Avengers movie out into the world. But more than anything else, 2011 looks to be filled with the ghosts of franchises past, with a dizzying number of sequels ready for release.

For the fanboys...
While superheroes will be out in force with “Thor” (May 6), “X-Men: First Class” (June 3), “the Green Lantern” (June 17) and “Captain America: the First Avenger” (July 22), the most exciting comics-to-screen jump is “Cowboys and Aliens” (July 29), starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig as, well, cowboys. Fighting aliens. What’s not to love?


Speaking of aliens, the Comic-Con crowd gets to cheer itself on in “Paul” (March 18), in which “Shaun of the Dead” stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost come across an extra-terrestrial (voiced by Seth Rogen) on their way to the annual San Diego geek-fest.

...and fangirls...
After “300” and “the Watchmen,” director Zack Snyder is letting the girls in on the action with “Sucker Punch” (March 25), about a group of young women (including Vanessa Hudgens, Jenna Malone and Abbie Cornish) in a mental hospital who escape to a fantasy world filled with guns, explosions and mind-bending effects.

For the kids...
The new year has some high-quality kids entertainment on tap, including some titles that might make their parents nostalgic: Neil Patrick Harris leads an all-star cast in bringing “the Smurfs” (August 3) into the real world, and Steven Spielberg brings one of Europe’s great animated characters to the big screen with “The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn” (December 28). And Martin Scorsese breaks new ground with “Hugo Cabret” (December 9), about a 12-year-old Parisian orphan in the 1930s. And it will be in 3-D.

For the grown-ups...
There’s plenty to entertain adults as well, as David Fincher follows up “the Social Network” with an English-language edition of “the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (December 21). Matt Damon and Emily Blunt go on the run in the thriller “the Adjustment Bureau” (March 4), based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick. And Damon shows up again in Stephen Soderbergh’s “Contagion” (October 21), about a team of doctors dealing with the outbreak of a devastating disease. And for folks looking for a laugh, James Franco and Danny McBride head back to medieval times to rescue a princess in “Your Highness” (April 8).

For the fans of the familiar...
The sheer number of sequels coming out in the next 12 months is dizzying: “Scream 4” (April 15), “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (May 20), “the Hangover 2” (May 26), “Kung Fu Panda 2” (May 27), “Cars 2” (June 24), “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (July 1), “Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World” (August 19), “Final Destination 5” (August 26), “Piranha 3-DD” (September 16), “Paranormal Activity 3” (October 21), “Happy Feet 2” (November 18), “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” and another “Sherlock Holmes” movie (December 16) and “a Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” (December 23). Of course, the most attention sequel-wise will be on the grand finale that is “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” (July 15) and the beginning of the end of the “Twilight” series, “the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” (November 18). For the absolute last chapter in the vampire mega-franchise, though, we’ll have to wait until 2012.

 
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