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It seems like only yesterday we on This is Serious Business were making ruthless, white-knuckled picks during our Summer Fantasy Box Office game last year. But as the embers of that epic contest fade (I’m coming for you, Jon!) and the gloom of the post-holiday Winter sets in, it’s only apt that we set our sights towards Summer 2013. Black capes will give way to red; our home planet will become stranger than distant ones; and giant monsters are gonna smash a whole bunch of stuff.
So whether you’re banking on ticket sales or looking forward to spending another glorious beach season sitting alone in the dark, it’s time to shut, buckle, and bone up: we present Gosu.com’s official lens on Summer 2013′s most titillating Winter trailers.
The Rundown: Following the events of The Avengers, industrialist Tony Stark grapples with his role as superhero, boyfriend, and dartboard to his most powerful and resourceful enemy yet: The Mandarin.
Why We’re Pumped: Avengers made a buttload of money, but there’s no denying that the Iron Man series is Marvel/Disney’s soundest franchise (and face it: the missteps of the sequel were more than made for with electric whips, an awesomely douchey Sam Rockwell, and a cat-suited Scarlett Johansson). The departure of director Jon Favreau was worrying, but landing the great Ben Kingsly as Mandarin and Shane Black as writer/director is really something to get psyched about. After years of obscurity following 80s blockbusters, Black made waves again in 2005 with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Now, with a script (guided by the comic-literate Drew Pearce) RDJ claims is the best he’s read in five years, there’s little reason to steel expectations.
Why We’re Skittish: We’re not really, but any hopes for an Iron Man film unfettered by the kind of shoehorned world-building that muddled Iron Man 2 might be best tempered. Marvel’s “Phase-2″ slate is already chock-full of Ant-Men, space raccoons, and another Avengers outing. Cameos and winks are more than welcome, but here’s hoping Iron Man 3 plants a firm metal boot in its own world and is free of any dues ex Samuel L. Jacksons.
The Rundown: United after the timeline-altering events of JJ Abrams’ excellent 2009 reboot, the crew of the Enterprise confronts a new, mysterious, and most Cumberbatchy threat… a man who may or may not be KHAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNN! -lens flare-
Why We’re Pumped: Cumberbatch! Everyone’s favorite wiry, cello-voiced Brit is finally landing major Hollywood roles and the BBC inspector playing a delicious villain feels as right as snuggling up with a whole roomful of tribbles. Whether he’s cast as Khan or not, there’s so much roiling, young talent in the Star Trek cast that an entire sequel of them repairing warp drives would probably be worth the price of admission. Fingers crossed that Into Darkness gives Zoe Saldana more to do, but the shining ensemble, reverent writing, and sleek direction of the first entry rendered us all Trekkies slobbering for kick-ass sequel. Mr. Abrams: Make it so.
Why We’re Skittish: Any red flag is a stretch, but if there’s one to be had, it’s probably that Abram’s last effort, Super 8 – an homage to Speilberg films ol’ Steven thought better of nearly two decades ago – didn’t really hit home with anyone. But considering the confident strides of JJ’s first Trek and the fact that he was able to excite longtime fans and n00bs alike, it’s hard to believe Into Darkness will be anything less than everyone’s A-game. For our money, Into Darkness one of the surest bets of this star date.
The Rundown: In a distant future, Will Smith and his son crash land on a mysterious planet and gotta get jiggy with a bunch of wild, ferocious creatures that have claws and teeth and stuff. Oh, and apparently this planet… IS EARF. Twist!
Why We’re Pumped: “Pumped” is a strong word here. Let’s say “cautiously optimistic.” There’s no ignoring the fact that After Earth is the new M. Night Shyamalan joint… and his track record confounds just about everyone. That said, edging away from horror to sci-fi/ adventure feels like a smart move – this trailer looks like a complete 180 from past Shyamalan films. Over a decade on, it’s still hard to completely dismiss the guy who crushed Six Sense and Unbreakable (and seriously - got most of Signs and The Village right). There’s an outside chance he can conjure some of that magic back… and that the Smith clan wouldn’t be starring if the script was anything otherwise.
Why We’re Skittish: Shyamalan’s movies have fooled us before – and we’re not talkin’ third act twists. Here’s hoping the additional (and legit) writing credits attributed to After Earth will steer it towards M. Night’s earlier work.
The Rundown: Raised on Earth as the only Superman, Superman must decide whether or not to be Superman and defeat a threat only Superman can stop in this Superman movie starring Superman. #Superman
Why We’re Pumped: The fresh faces here are encouraging: Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer cracked the story, Zak Snyder is going to bat for the big visuals, and Michael Shannon, one our more fascinatingly twitchy thespians, is the villain, General Zod. And while it’s dangerous to assume it’s in the actual film, Kevin Costner’s dark answer to young Clark’s question to whether he should have hid his powers and let classmates die hints at a complexity we haven’t yet gotten in Superman films. KNEEL BEFORE MORAL QUANDARIES!
Why We’re Skittish: Man, what is the deal with Supes? He occupies this iconic space in our superhero zeitgeist… and yet after 70 years, it takes herculean efforts just to make seem halfway interesting. A lack of memorable rogues and an imaginative new angle have sidelined Superman from making many cinematic outings of late, but with Warner Bros ramping up their Justice League plans, we have our fingers crossed that Mr. Kent is primed to leap back in the movie game with a single bound.
The Rundown: When an inter-dimensional portal releases Godzilla-sized monsters on an unsuspecting humanity, we respond with the most plausible solution: building giant, remote-controlled robots to punch those monsters right in the schnoz.
Why We’re Pumped: Guillermo del Toro helming any film is usually enough to get folks racing to the theater, but maybe more so this time because the concept feels like it straddles both new territory and his usual, creature-filled wheelhouse. Perhaps most intriguing is that Pacific Rim is screenwriter Travis Beacham‘s first major outing. His breakout script, Murder on Circus Row – a fairy tale noir – caught fire a few years back and became the definition of a crackerjack Hollywood writing sample. Rock’em Sock’em King Kong boxing is more throwback than inspired mash up, but with epic set pieces and fist-pumping lines like “WE’RE CANCELLING THE APOCALYPSE!” right in the trailer, we’re looking forward to seeing what this guy could deliver.
Why We’re Skittish (but not really): “Mastodon!” “Pterodactyl!” “Triceratops!” “Saber tooth tiger!” “Tyrannosaurus!”
So, what Summer film are you looking forward to? Which ones did we miss?