55 Must See Movies of 2008

55 Must See Movies of 2008

What movies will you be seeing in 2008? It’s a pretty simple question, but a very complex answer. Most consumers don’t plan their movie viewing habits that far in advance, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.

You might think that the title of this article is a bit deceptive, because who really sees 55 movies in a year anyway. But according to Video Business, the average American watches almost seven movies a month (sure, the majority of these films are viewed on DVD or television). But you are right, you must not see all these movies, these are just the films we’re excited about in 2008. Hollywood will release almost 500 films in 2008. We’ve narrowed down that list to the top 10% so you don’t have to.

This list includes the big films, the important films, the movies that you will be hearing about in the next year. The majority of the films on this list consist of Hollywood English-language films, which are, for a large part, adaptations or sequels. Some of the movies have advance buzz due to the writers, directors or stars attached. But there aren’t many big surprises. We won’t know what the next Little Miss Sunshine or Juno might be until it plays at Sundance in January.

It should be noted that this is a work of opinion, so some big Hollywood films are purposely missing (for example John Rambo, which I have no interest in, or Tina Fey’s Babby Mamma). And since even the studios don’t know what will happen if the big strike of 2008 actually happens, we can’t be sure of what the Fall line-up might actually include. There are movies being pushed into production in the next few months that might be ready for a late 2008 release. At the bottom of the list, I’ve tried to include some of the more interesting films that could possibly be released by year’s end.

Cloverfield/1-18-08

Release Date: January 18th 2008
Director: Matt Reeves (The Pallbearer, Felicity)
Writer: Drew Goddard (Lost, Alias, Angel, Buffy)
Cast: Mike Vogel, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, and Michael Stahl-David
The Buzz: If anything else, the top secret JJ Abrams produced monster movie had one of the best teaser trailers of all time. Will the movie be even half as good? We have no idea. The film follows a group of friends in New York City during one January night (January 18th) when some kind of monster attacks. The whole film is shot from the perspective of a consumer video camera that the college-age group bring along for the adventure.
Trivia: Why is it nicknamed Cloverfield?
Movie Trailer

Fanboys

Release Date: January 18th 2008
Director: Kyle Newman
Writer: Adam F. Goldberg (The Jetsons, Night of the Living Dorks)
Cast: Sam Huntington, Kristen Bell, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, Danny Trejo, William Shatner, Carrie Fisher, Jaime King, Christopher McDonald, Billy Dee Williams and more.
The Buzz: A road trip comedy about a group of “Star Wars” fans who travel to Skywalker Ranch to steal an early copy of “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” for their dying friend. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this film.
Movie Trailer

Be Kind Rewind

Release Date: January 23rd 2008
Writer/Director: Michel Gondy (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Science of Sleep)
Cast: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Melonie Diaz, Mia Farrow
The Buzz: Michel Gondry’s twisted comic tale of the magic of filmmaking. Jack Black plays Jerry, a junkyard worker who inadvertently causes his brain to become magnetized, leading to the unintentional destruction of all the movies in his friend’s (Mos Def) video rental store. In order to keep the store’s one loyal customer, an elderly lady with a tenuous grasp on reality, the pair re-create a long line of films, putting themselves and their townspeople into it. They become the biggest stars in their neighborhood. Rewind was originally scheduled for release in December 2007, but was pushed back to January. It is likely that the film was pushed back so that it can premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Gondry’s Science of Sleep and Human Nature also premiered at Sundance in 2002 and 2006 respectfully.
Movie Trailer

Jumper

Release Date: February 15th 2008
Director: Doug Liman (Go, The Bourne Identity)
Writer: David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Blade, Dark City)
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Samuel L Jackson, Diane Lane, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson
The Buzz: A feature film adaptation of the Steven Gould series of novels about a genetic anomaly that allows a young man to teleport himself anywhere. He discovers this gift has existed for centuries and finds himself in a war that has been raging for thousands of years between “Jumpers” and those who have sworn to kill them. The film has been delayed, which is usually a bad sign, but the extensive mythology behind the story has held my interest.
Trivia: The Mythology Behind the Story
Movie Trailer

The Spiderwick Chronicles

Release Date: February 15th 2008
Director: Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday, Just Like Heaven)
Cast: Sarah Bolger, Freddie Highmore, Seth Rogen, Mary-Louise Parker
The Buzz: This is another film which I had very little little interest in until I saw some of the FX footage shown at Comic Con 2007. Based on the popular book series by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, Spiderwick tells the story of a mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory,who find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures after moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate. Is this the next Harry Potter? Probably not. But what is now-a-days?
Movie Trailer

Synecdoche, New York

Release Date: Early 2008 (estimated)
Writer/Director:
Charlie Kaufman
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton
The Buzz: The feature film debut from the highly acclaimed screenwriter of Being John Malkovich, Human Nature, Adaptation., Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. Hoffman plays Caden, a theater director who ambitiously attempts to put on a play by creating a life-size replica of New York inside a warehouse. Caden finds out there is something wrong with him after a trip to the dentist. The movie goes into themes such as the nature of family, of home, and of male-female relationships. Anything from the mind of Kaufman is worth at least a trip to the multiplex. At least.
Trivia: A “synecdoche,” aside from being a clever play on “Schenectady”, where some of the film takes place, is a figure of speech in which a part is used to describe the whole or the whole is used to describe a part. Confused? Me too. One person used the example of what “threads” do for clothes.

The Other Boleyn Girl

Release Date: February 29th 2008
Cast: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana, Kristen Scott Thomas
The Buzz: Based on the Philippa Gregory novel which follows the story of two beautiful sisters, Anne ( Portman) and Mary (Johansson) Boleyn, who driven by their family’s blind ambition, compete for the love of the handsome and passionate King Henry VIII (Bana). Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Kristin Scott Thomas in one movie? I don’t care if it’s one of those stuffy period dramas, count me in. Oh yeah, Eric Bana and Across the Universe star Jim Sturgess are also featured.
Trivia: Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson are Hot

10,000 BC

Release Date: March 7th 2008
Writer/Director: Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla, Independence Day)
Cast: Camilla Belle, Steven Strait, Cliff Strait, Cliff Curtis
The Buzz: A prehistoric epic that follows a young mammoth hunter’s journey through uncharted territory to secure the future of his tribe. Let’s hope this is more Independence Day than Godzilla.
Movie Trailer

Horton Hears a Who!

Release Date: March 14th 2008
Directors: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino
Voice Cast: Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Dane Cook, Jaime Pressly, Isla Fisher, Will Arnett, Selena Gomez, Amy Poehler, Dan Fogler
The Buzz: Could this be the first great Dr. Suess inspired film since Chuck Jones’ The Grinch who Stole Christmas? Jim Carrey voices Horton the Elephant, who one day hears a cry from help coming from a speck of dust. Even though he can’t see anyone on the speck, he decides to help it. As it turns out, the speck of dust is home to the Whos, who live in their city of Whoville. Horton agrees to help protect the Whos and their home, but this gives him nothing but torment from his neighbors, who refuse to believe that anything could survive on the speck. Still, Horton stands by the motto that, “After all, a person is a person, no matter how small.” The computer generated animation looks top notch (almost Pixar quality even). Director Jimmy Hayward started as an animator at Pixar, working on Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc, and Finding Nemo.
Movie Trailer

21

Release Date: March 21st 2008
Director: Robert Luketic (Monster-in-Law, Legally Blonde)
Writer: Peter Steinfeld (Analyze That, Be Cool)
Cast: Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, Aaron Yoo
The Buzz: Based on the book Bringing Down the House, 21 is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings. I read the book a few years back, and this is a fascinating story which should play well on the big screen.
Trivia: Much of this movie was actually shot across the river from MIT at Boston University because MIT would not allow them to film on campus.

Wanted

Release Date: March 28th 2008
Director: Timur Bekmambetov (Nightwatch, Daywatch)
Writer: Michael Brandt (3:10 to Yuma, Catch That Kid)
Cast: Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Common
The Buzz: Based on the Mark Millar graphic novel about a young man (McAvoy) finds out his long lost father is an assassin. And when his father is murdered, the son is recruited into his father’s old organization and trained by a man named Sloan (Freeman) to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
Trivia: Many of the major characters within Wanted appear to be clear analogues of DC super-villains and super-heroes. The two major characters are: The Killer, based on either Deathstroke, Deadshot, or Bullseye and The Fox, based on Catwoman

The Ruins

Release Date: April 4th 2008
Director: Carter Smith
Cast: Jena Malone, Joe Anderson, Shawn Ashmore, Laura Ramsey, Jonathan Tucker
The Buzz: Scott B. Smith was the author of A Simple Plan, which was adapted into a great film by a pre-Spider-man Sam Raimi. Smith also wrote The Ruins, which photographer and commercial director Carter Smith is directing. The horror/thriller follows a group of friends whose leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when they, along with a fellow tourist embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle, where something evil lives among the ruins.
Trivia: Ben Stiller produced this movie.

Harold & Kumar 2

Release Date: April 4th
Directors: Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle)
Cast: John Cho, Kal Penn, Roger Bart, Richard Christy, Rob Corddry, Neil Patrick Harris, Eddie Kaye Thomas
The Buzz: This stoner sequel follows the cross-country adventures of the pot-smoking duo as they try to outrun authorities who suspect them of being terrorists when they try to sneak a bong on board their flight to Amsterdam.
Trivia: While in production, it’s first actual title was ‘Harold and Kumar go to Amsterdam’, which was probably changed because they never actually go to Amsterdam.

Repo! The Genetic Opera!

Release Date: April 25th 2008
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III, IV)
Cast: Paris Hilton, Alexa Vega, Anthony Head, Bill Moseley, Paul Sorvino
The Buzz: Music video turned filmmaker Darren Lynn Bousman’s horror musical. A worldwide epidemic encourages a biotech company to launch an organ-financing program similar in nature to a standard car loan. The repossession clause is a killer, however. Sure, Paris Hilton is in the film, but hopefully she won’t ruin everything.
Trivia: A 10-minute trailer was made by Darren Lynn Bousman to pitch the idea to movie companies, which starred Shawnee Smith. You can see some photo stills from that footage at this link.

Iron Man

Release Date: May 2nd 2008
Director: Jon Favreau (Elf, Made)
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Terrance Howard, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub
The Buzz: Jon Favreau’s big screen adaptation of the popular Marvel comic book character. Robert Downey Jr. plays Weapons designer Tony Stark, who is injured by shrapnel in his heart while in Afghanistan to introduce his new missile design. His captors order him to assemble a missile for them, giving him access to a workshop. He puts his creativity to use by assembling a bulletproof set of power armor, complete with pacemaker and flamethrowers, and uses it to free himself. Back at home, he becomes Iron Man, developing a flying suit with the red and gold scheme and advanced weapon capabilities.
Movie Trailer

Speed Racer

Release Date: May 9th 2008
Director: The Wachowski Brothers
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Fox, John Goodman, Scott Porter
The Buzz: Based on the classic 1960′s Japanese animated series, The Wachowski Brothers (Matrix) direct the story of a young race car driver as he attempts to obtain glory, with the help of his family and the Mach 5, the advanced car created by his father. Emile Hirsch stars as Speed, Christina Ricci as Trixie, and Mathew Fox as Racer X. Even if you weren’t a fan of the tv series, all indications so far point to this being unlike anything ever seen before on the big screen.
Trivia: Director Alfonso Cuarón was once attached to direct with Johnny Depp starring.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Release Date: May 16th 2008
Director: Andrew Adamson (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
Cast: Liam Neeson (voice), Ben Barnes, Warwick Davis, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Peter Dinklage
The Buzz: Okay, so the first film lacked action, but Disney has promised to up the ante with Prince Caspian. And if the footage shown at Comic Con was any indication, this could be the film to jump-start the Summer.
Trivia: Warwick Davis (Nikabrik) played the characters Reepicheep and Glimfeather in the BBC productions of Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Release Date: May 22nd 2008
Director: Steven Spielberg (Raiders, Jaws, Every great movie from your childhood)
The Buzz: Steven Spielberg directs the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series. Harrison Ford is back, and so is Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood. New to the production is Cate Blanchett as the bad girl, John Hurt as ??? and Shia LaBeouf as Indy’s greaser sidekick. Not much can be said about the storyline, as it is being kept tightly under wraps. George Lucas has said that Crystal Skull is more in tone with Raiders than any other film in the series. This makes us excited. If it’s on par with The Last Crusade, than I’ll be happy.
Trivia: Sean Connery was asked to reprise his role as Henry Jones, Sr. but turned it down because he did not want to come out of retirement.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Release Date: May 30th 2008
Director: Nicholas Stoller (Undeclared writer)
Cast: Apatow regulars Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd and Bill Hader and Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig
The Buzz: Another Judd Apatow comedy which is sure to please. Jason Segel plays Peter Bretter, who takes a Hawaii vacation in order to deal with recent break-up with his TV star girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). Little does he know Sarah’s traveling to the same resort as her ex … and she’s bringing along her new boyfriend.
Trivia: Supposedly the screenplay was inspired by Jason Segel’s experience at the end of a long relationship with Linda Cardellini, his co-star in Freaks and Geeks.

Righteous Kill

Release Date: Summer 2008
Director: Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes)
Writer: Russell Gewirtz (Inside Man)
Cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Carla Gugino, Donnie Wahlberg, John Leguizamo, 50 Cent, Brian Dennehy
The Buzz: Two Veteran New York City Detectives hunt a vigilante who may be one of their own. After 8 collaborations, Martin Scorsese hasn’t worked with De Niro since Casino back in 1995. Who would have thought that their next live-action big screen collaboration would be in front of the camera. And Pacino and De Niro are appearing on screen together for the second time in history. The legendary talent being brought together for this film screams for attention. Could this be the next Heat or Departed?
Trivia: $60 million is a pretty big budget for an independent production.

Choke

Release Date: Summer 2008 (estimated)
Writer/Director: Clark Gregg
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly Macdonald
The Buzz: Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favorite authors. You might know him as the author of Fight Club, which was brilliantly made for the screen by David Fincher. Choke is probably my third favorite book from Palahniuk. My favorite, Survivor likely won’t ever be made because the plot involves a terrorist and an airplane. In Choke, Victor Mancini (Rockwell) is a sex addict who works as a reenactor of the Revolutionary War. To support his hospitalized mother (Huston), Victor cons others by pretending to choke at restaurants to get money from his rescuers. Actor Clark Gregg pursued Choke for his directorial debut, after the project was dropped by Universal.
Trivia: Choke was shot in 25 days with a budget of $3.4 million

The Lovely Bones

Release Date: Summer 2008
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz, Stanley Tucci
The Buzz: Peter Jackson’s big screen adaptation of the Alice Sebold novel. Bones tells the story of a 14-year-old girl from suburban Pennsylvania who is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from Heaven, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body. Gosling will play the girl’s father and Weisz will play the girl’s mother. The film has a great cast, highly acclaimed source material, and a great director.
Trivia: Film4 was originally scheduled to make this film at a budget of $15 million. Peter Jackson sought a beginning $65 million budget for the adaptation.

The Happening

Release Date: June 13th 2008
Writer/Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo
The Buzz: Say what you will about M. Night Shyamalan, but many of his detractors have admitted that The Happening is his best script since The Sixth Sense. A paranoid thriller about a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large-scale threat to humanity. The Happening will be released purposely on Friday the 13th.
Trivia: Night’s spec script was originally titled The Green Effect.

The Incredible Hulk

Release Date: June 13th 2008
Director: Louis Leterrier (Transporter, Unleashed)
Writer: Edward Norton
Cast: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson
The Buzz: Edward Norton stars as Bruce Banner, in a non-sequel sequel to Ang Lee’s The Hulk. The Incredible Hulk is on the run, and the action is more intense in Edward Norton’s screenplay (that’s right, Norton also wrote the screenplay).
Trivia: Norton will provide motion capture for the character.

Get Smart

Release Date: June 20th 2008
Writer: Peter Segal (Tommy Boy, The Longest Yard, 50 First Dates)
Cast: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, The Rock, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, Masi Oka
The Buzz: Steve Carell stars as Maxwell Smart in the big screen adaptation of the classic Mel Brooks comic spy television series. Anne Hathaway plays Agent 99, Dwayne Johnson plays Agent 23, and Alan Arkin is the Chief. Tommy Boy helmer Peter Segal directs. We’ll try to forget that he once made Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. I saw abunh of footage from Get Smart at Comic Con, and was pleasantly surprised. I think this could be the next Austin Powers if done right.
Trivia: A made-for-DVD sequel focusing on minor characters will be released 10 days later.

The Love Guru

Release Date: June 20th 2008
Cast: Jessica Alba, Mike Myers, Justin Timberlake, Ben Kingsley, Meagan Good
I’m not a huge fan of Mike Myers, but one of my friends who has read the script said it’s laugh out loud hilarious. The movie follows Pitka (Meyers) an American raised outside of his country by gurus, returns to the States in order to break into the self-help business. His first challenge: To settle the romantic troubles and subsequent professional skid of a star hockey player (Romany Malco) whose wife left him for a rival athlete (Justin Timberlake). Jessic Alba and Ben Kingsley also star.
Trivia: This is Marco Schnabel’s feature film debut, after working second unit on Meet The Parents, Austin Powers: Goldmember, and Meet the Fockers.

Wall-E

Release Date: June 27th 2008
Director: Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo)
The Buzz: Wall-E is the film I’m most looking forward to in 2008. Yes, even over Indy 4 and Dark Knight. Andrew Stanton developed WALL-E before Toy Story was made: the original idea was, “What if mankind evacuated Earth and forgot to turn off the last remaining robot?” After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL•E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL•E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL-E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets into motion one of the most exciting and imaginative comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen. Joining WALL-E on his fantastic journey across a universe of never-before-imagined visions of the future, is a hilarious cast of characters including a pet cockroach, and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.
Trivia: There is little traditional dialogue in the film; Stanton has joked, “I’m basically making R2-D2: The Movie”, referring to Ben Burtt (Star Wars), who is doing the film’s sound design. Jeff Garlin is voicing a Captain, who is the only character who speaks. Stanton has also confirmed that there is a live action element in the film, but “not like Happy Feet”.
Movie Trailer, Teaser Trailer

Valkyrie

Release Date: June 27th 2008
Director: Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns, X2)
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, The Way of the Gun)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Kevin McNally, Eddie Izzard, Christian Berkel, Bill Nighy, Terence Stamp, Stephen Fry, Tom Wilkinson, David Schofield and Kenneth Branagh
The Buzz: Tom Cruise plays Count Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg in his plan to kill Adolph Hitler. The people on this production tell me that this movie will be one to watch in Summer 2008. It’s an interesting historical tale, too bad it obviously doesn’t end well. I would say Stauffenberg’s eventual fate may keep some people from seeing this film, but Titanic is the biggest grossing film of all time, and everyone knew how that one ended.
Trivia: In June 2007, prior to production, Germany’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Harald Kammerbauer said that filming of Valkyrie would not be allowed to take place on the country’s military sites because the protagonist Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg was portrayed by Tom Cruise, a follower of Scientology, considered a fake religion by Germany.

Hancock

Release Date: July 2nd 2008
Director: Peter Berg (The Kingdom, The Rundown, Friday Night Lights)
Cast: Will Smith, Jason Bateman, Charlize Theron, Johnny Galecki
The Buzz: Will Smith portrays an alcoholic superhero despised by everyone. A publicist (Bateman) helps rehabilitate him, and the superhero eventually begins an affair with the publicist’s wife (Theron).
Trivia:
Vincent Ngo’s 1996 spect script originally titled “Tonight, He Comes” has been in development in Hollywood for some time with various directors attached, including Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Jonathan Mostow, and Gabriele Muccino.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Release Date: July 11th 2008
Director: Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth)
Cast: Ron Pearlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Jeffrey Tambor, Luke Goss
The Buzz: Guillermo del Toro returns with the second chapter in the big screen adaptation of the popular Dark Horse comic book hero. The story revolves around a mythical world that starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.
Trivia: del Toro has said that this is the second film in a Hellboy trilogy.

The Dark Knight

Release Date: July 18th 2008
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: David S. Goyer (Blade, Batman Begins) and Jonathan Nolan (Memento, The Prestige)
Cast: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Anthony Michael Hall, Aaron Eckhart
The Buzz: Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to the highly acclaimed Batman Begins. Batman (Bale) raises the stakes in his war on crime with the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart). Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker (Ledger). Can not wait.
Trivia: As a joke, one bat suit was made with nipples. It was presented to Christian Bale as the real bat suit, but he knew instantly it was a joke, having seen a few design pictures during preproduction. He did pose for some publicity photos in the “nipple” suit.
Teaser Trailer

Pineapple Express

Release Date: August 8th 2008
Director: David Gordon Green (George Washington, All the Real Girls, Snow Angels)
Writer: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (SuperBad)
Cast: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Bill Hader, James Remar, Gary Cole, Rosie Perez
The Buzz: Yes, another Judd Apatow produced comedy. Superbad co-writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg return with an action comedy about a stoner (Rogen) and his dealer (Franco) who are forced to go on the run from the police after the pothead witnesses a cop commit a murder.
Trivia: Green directs his first feature comedy.

The International

Release Date: August 15th 2008
Director: Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Perfume)
Cast: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts
The Buzz: An Interpol agent (Owen) attempts to expose a high-profile financial institution’s role in an international arms dealing ring. Tykwer’s films are always very visually unique.

Trailer Trash

Release Date: August 22nd 2008
Director: Eli Roth
Cast: Unannounced
The Buzz: An R-Rated feature film full of connected faux horror movie trailers. Eli Roth says he wants to make a film like “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” which he considers “to be the greatest achievement in the history of cinema.” I, like many, really enjoyed the fake movie trailers which were attached to Grindhouse. And I’ve always been a fan of the short form film (ie short film) because if you don’t like it, just wait a few minutes and it will be over and another one will begin. Plus as Roth notes, you can make a trailer full of tentpole moments without all the exposition and connected story in between. Oh, and Roth’s Thanksgiving trailer was hilarious.
Trivia: Roth has said that the film will include another trailer for Thanksgiving, and a trailer for “The Leap Year Killer”, a killer who only kills one day every few years.

Where the Wild Things Are

Release Date: October 3rd 2008
Director: Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation)
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Catherine O’Hare
The Buzz: Every kid has read the classic illustrated Maurice Sendak book, about Max, a mischievous little boy, creates his own world – a forest in habited by fabulous wild creatures who crown Max as their ruler. Music Video turned filmmaker Spike Jonze has always created some visual and conceptual masterpieces. This is also Spike’s first feature film not written by Charlie Kaufman.
Trivia: Dave Eggers, who adapted the book for the screen has been hailed as “the J.D. Salinger of Generation X”.

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

Release Date: October 3rd 2008
Director: Robert B. Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Cast: Megan Fox, Kristen Dunst, Simon Pegg, Jeff Bridges, Gillian Anderson
The Buzz: Based on the bestselling memoir by Toby Young, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People follows a disillusioned intellectual named Sidney Young (Pegg) who both adores and despises the world of celebrity, fame and glamour. His alternative magazine, Post Modern Review, pokes fun at the media obsessed stars and bucks trends, and so when Young is offered a job at the diametrically opposed conservative New York based Sharps magazine its something of a shock! It seems Sharps editor Clayton Harding is amused by Young’s disruption of a post-BAFTA party with a pig posing as Babe. Thus begins Sidney’s descent into success – his gradual move from derided outsider to confidante of starlet Sophie Maes (Fox) – and a love affair with colleague Alison Olsen (Dunst), that will either make him or break him. Film also stars Jeff Bridges and Gillian Anderson.
Trivia: The title of the book is a parody of Dale Carnegie’s bestseller, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Eagle Eye

Release Date: October 10th 2008
Director: D.J. Caruso (Disturbia)
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Rosario Dawson, Michelle Monaghan
The Buzz: Disturbia helmer D.J. Caruso reunites with Shia LaBeouf for a dramatic thriller about a young slacker whose overachieving twin brother has died mysteriously. Based on a story by Steven Spielberg (yes, that Steven), when the young man returns home, both he and a single mother find they have been framed as terrorists. Forced to become members of a cell that has plans to carry out a political assassination, they must work together to extricate themselves.
Trivia: When Eagle Eye was fast tracked into production due to the 2008 strike, Rosario Dawson had to decline the role of Miri in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which was personally written for her by writer/director Kevin Smith

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Release Date: November 2008 (estimated)
Director: Robert Schwentke (Flightplan)
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana, Ron Livingston
The Buzz: Based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife is a romantic drama about a Chicago librarian (Bana) with a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, and the complications it creates for his marriage. I’m always game for any time travel movie, although this sounds a bit like the new television show Journeyman.
Trivia: Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt made headlines when they bought the film rights to Niffenegger’s novel before it was released to the public.

James Bond 22

Release Date: November 7th 2008
Director: Marc Forster (Stranger Than Fiction, Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner)
Writer: Robert Wade and Paul Haggis (Casino Royale)
Cast: Daniel Craig, Goran Visnjic, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Jesper Christensen
It’s Bond, what more can you say? Daniel Craig returns as agent 007. Not much is known about this film as of yet. All we do know is that this movie is going to be the first ever direct sequel to another official James Bond film (Casino Royale)
Trivia: Pre-production work for this film began before Casino Royale started filming.

The Changeling

Release Date: November 7th 2008
Director: Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River)
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, World War Z)
Cast: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Riki Lindhome, Amy Ryan
The Buzz: Jolie plays a woman whose son is abducted but retrieved; she suspects, however, that the returned child is not hers. The woman must then confront corruption in the LAPD. The story is based on true events in 1920s Los Angeles. The film is being produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.
Trivia: Ron Howard was originally attached to direct.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Release Date: November 21st 2008
Director: David Yates (Order of the Phoenix)
Writer: Steve Kloves (Wonder Boys, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)
Cast: Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Jim Broadbent, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton
The Buzz: As Harry Potter begins his 6th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he discovers an old book marked mysteriously “This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince” and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort’s dark past.
Trivia: Director Guillermo del Toro turned down the chance to direct this film.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Release Date: November 26th 2008
Director: David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en, Zodiac)
Writer: Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Munich)
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Elle Fanning, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas
The Buzz: Based on the 1922 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Benjamin Button (Pitt) is born as a feeble old man, and ages in reverse until he becomes a baby at the end of his life. This causes complications when he falls in love with a 30-year-old woman (Blanchett). Fitzgerald has noted that “This story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain’s to the effect that it was a pity that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end.” The film has a $150 million budget, and was shot back to back with Zodiac. Love him or hate him, Fincher always delivers an interesting film.
Trivia: The project has been in development since 1994 with numerous directors including Ron Howard, Spike Jonze, and Gary Ross. In the late 90′s, John Travolta was in line to star in the film.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Release Date: December 12th 2008
Director: Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Hellraiser: Inferno)
Writer: David Scarpa (The Last Castle)
Cast: Keanu Reeves (Matrix)
The Buzz: A remake of the classic 1951 sci-fi action film by Robert Wise, which is considered one of the best Science Fiction films of all time (#7 on Arthur C Clarke’s List) and was debated for it’s religious symbolism and many interpretations. Bernard Herrmann score is also notable, partly because of its use of two theremins. The film is currently ranked #187 of all time on IMDb, with a 8.1 rating. Reeves will play Klaatu, an alien who arrives on Earth accompanied by a large humanoid robot named Gort, with a warning to world leaders that their continued aggression will lead to annihilation by species watching from afar.
Trivia: Klaatu is famous in part due to the phrase “Klaatu barada nikto!” used in the film and its re-use in the Bruce Campbell cult film Army of Darkness.

Angels & Demons

Release Date: December 19th 2008
Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code)
Cast: Tom Hanks
The Buzz: The Da Vinci Code is overrated. I’ve always found the prequel Angels & Demons to be the far better and more interesting story. It’s a classic race against time to find a hidden bomb in the Vatican and hunt down a serial killer in Rome. The reason why this story is more interesting to me is the multi-layered debate about which is to be trusted – science or religion.

Star Trek

Release Date: December 25th 2008
Director: JJ Abrams
The Buzz: JJ Abrams restarts the Trek series at the beginning. Not much is known about the film other than it will feature a young Kirk and Spock in the early days of the Enterprise. Casting of young and comedic actors has worried long time fans, but producers have stated since the beginning that they are trying to attract a new audience to the series. Zachary Quinto (Heroes) as Spock, Eric Bana as the villain Nero, Zoe Saldana (Drumline) as Uhura, Anton Yelchin (Charlie Bartlett) as Chekov, John Cho as Sulu and possibly Chris Pine (Just My Luck) as Kirk.
Trivia: Matt Damon called J.J. Abrams when he heard rumors that he was being considered for the role of Captain Kirk. The response from Abrams was a very polite “No”, stating that Damon was “too old” for the role.

And the following films are in production or being rushed into production before the strike, and couple possibly be released in Fall 2008, although there are no guarantees.

Adventureland

Release Date: Fall 2008 (estimated)
Writer/Director: Greg Mottola (SuperBad)
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Martin Starr
The Buzz: A comedy loosely based on Mottola’s teenage experiences. Set in the summer of 1987, Adventureland centers around a recent college grad (Eisenberg) who takes a nowhere job at his local amusement park, only to find it’s the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.
Trivia: While Adventureland is a real Long Island amusement park, the film is actually being shot at Kennywood Park in Pennsylvania.

Australia

Release Date: Fall 2008 (estimated)
Writer/Director: Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!)
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, Bryan Brown
The Buzz: Luhrmann’s film is set in northern Australia prior to World War II and centers on an English aristocrat (Kidman) who inherits a ranch the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle driver (Jackman) to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country’s most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier.
Trivia: Russell Crowe was originally attached as the lead during pre-production. 20th Century Fox executives wanted to reduce Crowe’s salary considerably, which compelled him to ultimately leave the project. Heath Ledger was also set to star in this film, but dropped out to play The Joker in The Dark Knight.

The Box

Release Date: Fall 2008 (estimated)
Writer/Director: Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales)
Cast: Sean William Scott, Cameron Diaz
The Buzz: I, like many others, LOVED Kelly’s feature film debut Donnie Darko. I have yet to see his follow-up, Southland Tales, which has garnered far less acclaim. Based on the story “Button, Button” written by Richard Matheson (I Am Legend), the film surrounds a troubled married couple who find a small wooden box on their doorstep, which brings with it unforeseen fortune. Their good luck, however, comes at a price.
Trivia: The horror/thriller has a $30 million-plus budget.

Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt

Release Date: 2008??
Director: Dan Mazer (Borat)
Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen
The Buzz: The follow-up to Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, follows Cohen’s third Da Ali G Show character Brüno, a gay Austrian TV reporter who interviews unsuspecting guests about topics such as fashion, entertainment, celebrities and homosexuality, with an emphasis on the latter as each interview progresses.
Trivia: After the huge break-out success of Borat, negotiations to Cohen’s follow-up were intense, with Universal Pictures acquiring the worldwide rights to the film for a reported $42.5 million dollars.

The Fighter

Release Date: Fall 2008 (estimated)
Director: Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Pi, The Fountain)
Writer: Paul Attanasio (The Quiz Show, Donnie Brasco)
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Brad Pitt
The Buzz: Based on a true story, this drama follows boxer “Irish” Micky Ward’s unlikely road to the world light welterweight title. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky, a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after nearly being KO’d by drugs and crime. Aronofky knows how to handle drugs on the big screen, and this should be a tale where he can really show off his style.
Trivia: Matt Damon had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by Brad Pitt. Interestingly enough, Scorsese originally was going to cast Pitt in the role of Colin Sullivan in The Departed. However, Pitt dropped out to film Babel and Damon got the role.

Frost/Nixon

Release Date: Fall 2008 (estimated)
Director: Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code)
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Matthew Macfadyen, Sam Rockwell
The Buzz: Based on the popular stage play, Frost/Nixon is a dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.
Trivia: Frank Langella won a Tony Award in 2007 for playing Richard Nixon in the original stage production.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Release Date: Fall 2008 (estimated)
Director: Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas)
Cast: Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno), Kat Dennings (40 Year Old Virgin)
The Buzz: Based on the novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes, to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City-and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date. This is the story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be-and where the next great band is playing.
Trivia: You can read chapter one of the book for FREE at this link.

RocknRolla

Release Date: Fall 2008 (estimated)
Writer/Director: Guy Ritchie (Snatch)
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jeremy Piven, Thandie Newton, Tom Wilkinson
The Buzz: London’s criminal underworld takes notice of a Russian mobster’s shady land deal, a scam that puts millions of dollars up for grabs. Ritche makes his return to the Gangster film. Thank god because I for one can’t take another Swept Away.
Trivia: Thandie Newton claims to have signed on for two sequels.

Shantaram

Release Date: Fall 2008 (estimated)
Director: Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake)
Writer: Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Munich)
Cast: Johnny Depp
The Buzz: Based on the novel by Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram follows a heroin addict incarcerated for a robbery escapes prison and reinvents himself as a doctor in the slums of Bombay; his ties to the crime underworld there lead him to Afghanistan, where he partners with a mob boss locked in a battle with Russian criminals.
Trivia: Russell Crowe wanted to play the lead in this film, but he found out that Johnny Depp had already acquired the rights to the book.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Release Date: Fall 2008 (estimated)
Writer/Director: Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy)
Cast: ???, ???, Jason Mewes
The Buzz: Two friends, both in their late 20s and feeling various strains of adulthood, decide to launch an amateur porn studio — a knockout story for their upcoming high school reunion. I’m a huge fan of Kevin Smith’s work, and this sounds like a step back towards Chasing Amy, which is probably Smith’s best film to date.
Trivia: The Weinstein Company greenlit the project based solely on the title.

So now that you know, what movies will you see in 2008??

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