2013 was indeed a great deal of fun for fans of the science fiction genre. Gravity re-defined the visceral experience, The World's End capped off the Cornetto Trilogy perfectly, Hunger Games had its Empire Strikes Back moment and Her changed what a romantic comedy could be.
Looking forward to 2014, sci-fi looks like it will only get better: A new Christopher Nolan film set in space, a sequel to the 2011 surprise hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a new effort from the Wachowski siblings and more. Here are seven feature films to put down on your social calendar.
Transcendence, April 14
Transcendence marks frequent Christopher Nolan collaborator Wally Pfister's first outing as a director and he picked a great project to make his directorial debut. Johnny Depp trades in the face make-up and funny hats for a terminally ill scientist downloads his mind into a computer. Assisted by A.I. beyond his wildest dreams, soon Caster (Depp) uses his power to make the world over according to his wishes. Also starring, Cillian Murphy, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Paul Bettany and Morgan Freeman.
Godzilla, May 16
Indie film makers are rarely given the keys to a big studio picture, but Warner Bros. has entrusted the auteur behind Monsters to revive Godzilla in the midst of the monster movie craze. The teaser trailer has only hinted at the carnage that will occur onscreen, but I suspect that Gareth Edwards (the director of Monsters) will make Roland Emmerich’s 1998 stab at the radioactive monster nothing more than a bad, distant memory.
Edge of Tomorrow, June 6
Based on the cult classic novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Tom Cruise stars alongside Emily Blunt as a couple of soldiers in the near future, fighting an indestructible alien armada known as the “Mimics” that have invaded Earth. Cruise’s character, Lt. Bill Cage, is an inexperienced soldier who is dropped into battle only to die within minutes. He soon finds that he has been sent into a time-loop where he returns to be killed again and again unless he can break the chain and change his future.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, July 11
That teaser, man. A tentative peace has been reached since the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and in that time ape society has flourished, but a new set of survivors of the simian plague could turn simmering tensions into an all-out war between humanity and Caesar's growing forces.
Jupiter Ascending, July 18
If you thought that Cloud Atlas was insane, then the Wachowskis have another surprise in store for audiences. This particular tale focuses on a universe where humans are near the bottom of the evolutionary ladder, and the universe is ruled by a single Queen. A young mercenary (Channing Tatum) is sent to kill a destitute woman, whose bloodline marks her a target for assassination by the Queen of the Universe.
Interstellar, November 7
Little is known still about the massive sci-fi Christopher Nolan is undertaking. All we have to go on is the teaser trailer, the cast made up of Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway and Casey Affleck, and the source of the script based on Kip Thorne’s book. Frankly, that’s all I need to know. After Gravity‘s success combining IMAX and space I can’t wait to see what the creator of Inception has up his sleeve.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1, November 21
The current biggest franchise not owned by Disney goes for the jugular this November with the first installation of the conclusion to the Hunger Games saga. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol.