2013: A Space Odyssey

With several long awaited high profile films set for release, 2013 looks to be a vintage year for science fiction. For many, JJ Abrams’ Star Trek: Into Darkness is one of the most anticipated films of the year.

Speculation surrounding the sequel to Abram’s successful 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise has been high ever since the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain in 2011. Very little is actually known about the film. Although the recently released trailer gave small glimpses of footage, there was nothing to indicate the direction the plot will take. This ambiguity has kept Trekkies new and old salivating for more and is sure to make Into Darkness one of the most successful films of the summer when it is released 17 May.

Another keenly awaited release is Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim, due for release 12 July. In production since 2010, Rim is Del Toro’s first film in several years after attempting and failing to get the likes of The Hobbit and HP Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness made. Indeed, many people seem to be pleased that Del Toro managed to get his “beautiful poem to giant monsters” made at all. Whilst plot details remain reasonably sketchy, the basic premise appears to be that aliens are attacking Earth and must be stopped by massive robots. Following the release of the trailer last month, fanboys everywhere were exclaiming “Aliens being fought by…. human operated… GIANT ROBOTS!” What more could one want?

The next year will also see the adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s bestselling novel Enders Game. The film follows an unusually gifted child who is sent to a military school in space to prepare for an alien invasion. Meanwhile, there is also the release of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity to look forward to. The film, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, depicts two astronauts as they attempt to return to Earth after their space shuttle is damaged by debris.

The director of District 9, Neil Blomkamp, releases his follow up Elysium, which once again sees issues of equality explored through the genre of science fiction.

Alternatively, this year will also provide opportunity to see if M. Night Shyamalan will continue to prove that The Sixth Sense was a complete fluke with After Earth, which sees Will Smith and his son Jaden exploring a planet that was evacuated by humans more than a thousand years ago.

For those worried about the void left by the end of the Twilight franchise, never fear as Stephanie Meyer’s The Host, which explores the path of a parasitic alien as it takes up residence in a human, is due for release in March.

The next 12 months is set to see a wide array of sci-fi releases, some with more promise than others. Although you can never quite predict the success of a film until its release, the sheer number of science fiction films on the horizon implies that 2013 will be a good year for the genre.


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August 2022
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