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words: Alice Pattillo

Forget 2012, this year marks the end of the world. Post-apocalyptic sci-fi governs the big screens this summer, starting with Oblivion (out now) and following into May with gritty vampire drama Byzantium, directed by Interview With A Vampire’s  Neil Jordan (out 31 May), plus the sequel to the 2009 reboot, Star Trek Into Darkness (out 9 May).

M. Night Shyamalan directs Will and Jaden Smith in After Earth (out 7 June), in which the father-son duo find themselves stranded on a post-humanity Earth. Meanwhile, Matt Damon is also stuck on a ruined Earth in Elysium (out 20 Sept).

July sees the eagerly anticipated Superman reboot, Man Of Steel (out 14 June), finally crash land into cinemas. The Tudors’ hunk, Henry Cavill adorns the red and blue lycra while visionary extraordinaire, Zack Snyder takes the helm as director; this is definitely going to prove to be a treat for the eyes.

Snyder is a busy man this year, co-writing the sequel to the film adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300 comic-book mini-series, 300: Rise Of An Empire (out 2 Aug). Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro reprise their roles as Queen Gorgo and Xerxes, respectively.

Miller’s Sin City is also returning to the big screen, after eight years in the making, with Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. The neo-noir will be primarily based on the story of the same name, but will also feature some familiar characters, with Bruce Willis’ John Hartigan, Mickey Rourke’s Marv and Rosario Dawson’s Gail all reappearing. Clive Owen has been replaced by the brilliant Josh Brolin, who will be taking over as Dwight and some newcomers to the franchise include Eva Green as Ava Lord, an ex-lover of hardboiled anti-hero, Dwight, and manipulative femme fatale; as well as Johnny, a cocky gambler, portrayed by Joseph Gordon Levitt.

With no Pirates this year, where will we get our Johnny Depp fix I hear you ask? Well, don’t fret, as Walt Disney, Gore Verbinski and Depp are teaming up for The Lone Ranger (out 9 Aug) – a re-telling of the classic gun-slinging masked hero.

Continuing with the trend of Armageddon, the team behind Superbad, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg bring us This Is The End (out 28 Jun); a comedy with James Franco, Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill, all playing fictional versions of themselves – this film is guaranteed to be roll-on-the-floor-with-laughter fun. Simon Pegg’s contribution to the world of film is equally apocalyptic with his return to Shaun Of The Dead pub, The World’s End (out 19 Jul) for the last instalment of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy.

This year also sees the long awaited release of World War Z (out 21 Jun).  The film is based on the book by Max Brooks, which has previously been described as ‘reinventing the zombie genre’. The book reads more like a report than a novel, containing fictional accounts of the “10-year zombie war”.  Brad Pitt takes on the role of a U.N. employee interviewing zombie apocalypse survivors. Let’s hope the film does the unique nature of the book justice and isn’t buried in a grave of disappointment.

Guillermo del Toro returns to his directorial throne, reuniting with Hellboy, Ron Pearlman and his Sons Of Anarchy co-star, Charlie Hunnam. His epic robot/monster mash-up, Pacific Rim (out 12 Jul) should prove to be the sci-fi action of the year (after Star Trek, of course).

If you are a superhero fan, you will be excited to see the release of Kick-Ass 2 (out 14 Aug) and of course, Thor: The Dark World (out 8 Nov). All the stars from the first film are reprising their roles, and with Kenneth Branagh resigning as director, Game Of Thrones’ Alan Taylor has stepped up to the seat. With an epic fantasy like GOT under his belt, no doubt the god of thunder will be in safe hands…

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