40. Why Don’t You Play In Hell
The Hook: We honestly no little about this next pick other than that it’s a forthcoming action film from writer/director Sion Sono. With his career, and especially after Cold Fish, that should be enough. It’s an idea that Sono has been working on for 15 years and, according to him, shares some similarities with Kill Bill. Japan gets it in March, which means it’ll be hitting festivals around the States and most likely get picked up for release as well.
39. Angry Little God
The Hook: Writer/director Daniel Stamm burst onto the scene with A Necessary Death, which few saw. Fortunately, the right people loved it, and it led to him making The Last Exorcism, and that film’s success has led to an awkwardly-titled sequel and this next work from Stamm. Here, he’s remaking 13 Game of Death (seen above), telling the story of a man offered huge cash prizes by a mysterious voice on the phone for completing tasks that escalate in intensity. It’s also another opportunity to see Ron Perlman and for Mark Webber‘s star to rise.
38. 300: Rise Of An Empire
Release: August 2nd
The Hook: Zach Snyder’s 300 was an aggressive visual attack. The question is whether director Noam Murro will be able to build his own assault. He’s an admittedly left field choice for a project like this because his only prior feature experience was with the talky Smart People, although it’ll be thrilling to see Animal Kingdom star Sullivan Stapleton take the lead her with Eva Green at his side.
37. The To Do List
Release: August 16th
The Hook: Aubrey Plaza continues her big screen transition after sweetly impressing in Safety Not Guaranteed with a tale of a young woman pressured to get some notches on her belt before she goes off to college. A cringing sex comedy with Plaza from director Maggie Carey sounds way too funny to pass up. Still, it would have been better if they’d stuck with The Hand Job as the title.
36. The Wolf of Wall Street
The Hook: Martin Scorsese made a new movie with Leonardo DiCaprio about corruption in New York and powerful mob influence. So, everyone’s gonna go see it, right? Right.
35. Warm Bodies
Release: February 1st
The Hook: Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a Zombie love story. The genre might be feeling a bit played out by now, but the rom-com angle gives it new life (sorry), and Jonathan Levine has proven himself a humanistic, fresh talent with The Wackness and 50/50. He may fly a bit under the radar, but he’s definitely on ours.
34. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Release: November 22nd
The Hook: When Gary Ross brought the YA novel series into theaters last year, it was an undeniable phenomenon — not only as a budding franchise, but as part of a bevy of female-led movies that shot arrows into stereotypes and convention. Those who dismiss it as a knock-off of Battle Royale fail to see its own personality and intricacies, and now Francis Lawrence has taken over the director’s chair for the follow-up starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and a handful of actors with bizarre facial hair.
33. Spring Breakers
The Hook: It feels like this movie came out three years ago, what with the plastering of pictures of Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez bikini pictures all over the internet, but Harmony Korine‘s next restless youth movie is seeing a release in 2013 thanks to Annapurna Pictures and Megan Ellison. Now just imagine what the anticipation would have been like if this had come out before people starting loathing James Franco.
32. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Release: October 4th
The Hook: It’s happening! It’s really happening!
31. Evil Dead (2013)
Release: April 11th
The Hook: This is a dangerous one to hope for. Even with Sam Raimi’s name involved as a producer, nothing about its development felt right…until the footage at New York Comic Con. From there, the trailer that came out was a tongue-splittingly gory threat of horror. Cautious optimism might be for the best (and it’ll be fun to see a cabin in the woods flick after Cabin in the Woods…), but at the very least we know they didn’t neuter themselves when it comes to the red stuff.