The Talent: Director Ruben Fleischer, stars Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Sean Penn.
The Pitch: Penn is real-life mobster Mickey Cohen. Brolin and Gosling head up the titular LAPD detectives assigned to bring him down. Stone is the femme with the fatale.
The Hook: After Lawless took the period gangster movie into the sticks, this brings it back into the city. Expect an Untouchables / L.A. Confidential vibe, especially from Gosling in his first big role since that period in 2011 when he starred in every film around.
Defining Feature: A scene featuring a massacre in a cinema has been reshot and relocated to avoid parallels with last year’s shootings in Aurora, Colorado, prompting a delay in release from the original Autumn 2012 date.
The Talent: Director Tom Hooper, stars Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe.
The Pitch: Victor Hugo’s famous story about escaped prisoner Jean Valjean (Jackman), who doesn’t let the fact he’s on the run from police inspector Javert (Crowe) stop him from singing.
The Hook: Fresh off scooping Oscars for The King’s Speech, Hooper brings the smash-hit West End musical, which has played to over 10,000 London audiences, to the big screen.
Defining Feature: Rather than having the actors mime to pre-recorded playback, Hooper has taken the unusual step of having them sing live on set.
The Talent: Director Quentin Tarantino, stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Pitch: Freed slave Django (Foxx) hunts down his old owner (DiCaprio) after teaming up with a sardonic bounty hunter (Waltz).
The Hook: Tarantino’s love of Westerns is well-known, but this is his first full-blooded attempt at the genre, borrowing an iconic character from 1960s Spaghetti Westerns and adding his own spin.
Defining Feature: After two decades of flirting with African-American culture, Tarantino tackles the roots of his country’s racism. Expect controversy.
The Talent: Director Steven Spielberg, star Daniel Day-Lewis.
The Pitch: The final four months of the life of one of America’s greatest Presidents, as Lincoln battles to have slavery legally outlawed.
The Hook: As if having one of America’s greatest filmmakers at the helm wasn’t enough, Lincoln is played by one of the world’s greatest actors.
Defining Feature: Day-Lewis is up for a record third Best Actor Oscar and stands a good chance of getting it.
Zero Dark Thirty
The Talent: Director Kathryn Bigelow, stars Jessica Chastain and Mark Strong.
The Pitch: A docudrama about America’s hunt for Osama Bin Laden from 9/11 to his eventual demise, as told through Chastain’s operative Maya.
The Hook: Bigelow made history with The Hurt Locker – not only making the first Best Picture winner about the War on Terror but becoming the first ever female Best Director. So she’s headed back to the Middle East for an even bigger story.
Defining Feature: After achieving her breakthrough in 2011 via endless supporting roles, this is Chastain’s arrival as a fully-fledged movie star.
The Talent: Director Brandon Cronenberg, star Caleb Landry Jones.
The Pitch: Celebrity culture is now so extreme that a company exists to harvest the diseases caught by celebrities, and inject them into the ordinary joes who want a taste of stardom, no matter how disgusting.
The Hook: Like father, like son. Following in David Cronenberg’s footsteps, Brandon makes the kind of film his pa made in the 1970s – a sick, satirical horror that muses on death and disease.
Defining Feature: A starring role for Caleb Landry Jones, which looks set to raise his promising profile after supporting turns in X-Men: First Class and The Last Exorcism.
The Talent: Director Sacha Gervasi, stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson.
The Pitch: The making of 1960’s Psycho, as filtered through the relationship between Alfred Hitchcock (Hopkins) and his wife Alma Reville (Mirren).
The Hook: You might well do a double-take seeing Hopkins transformed into Hitchcock with impressive jowel prosthetics. To balance things, Johansson is a natural match for Janet Leigh.
Defining Feature: Hitchcock coincides with a rival film about the director’s life, the made-for-TV The Girl starring Toby Jones as Hitch. Hopkins’ star power should see this version win the battle of the Alfreds.
The Talent: Director Jonathan Levine, stars Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer.
The Pitch: Adaptation of Isaac Marion’s cult novel about a zombie’s unlikely romance with a teenage girl.
The Hook: A cute high-concept premises provides the means to refresh the decaying cadavers of the increasingly over-populated zombie genre.
Defining Feature: Hoult’s post-Skins career as the go-to guy for weird heartthrobs continues after his stand-out turn as Beast in X-Men: First Class.
The Talent: Director Park Chan-wook, stars Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode.
The Pitch: Meet the Stoker family – Wasikowska, her mad mother Kidman and her mysterious uncle Goode. Expect dysfunction.
The Hook: Park, the leading light of Korean cinema thanks to Oldboy, makes his English-language debut with a twisted blend of horror and Hitchcockian psychodrama – think Dracula crossed with Shadow Of A Doubt.
Defining Feature: The screenplay is written by Wentworth Miller. Yes, as in the guy who played Michael Schofield in Prison Break.
Welcome to the Punch
The Talent: Director Eran Creevy, stars James McAvoy and Mark Strong.
The Pitch: The cat-and-mouse game between a detective (McAvoy) and a criminal (Strong) gets serious when both discover they’re on the wrong side of a conspiracy.
The Hook: Having made his name with micro-budget gem Shifty, Creevy ramps it up a gear with a thriller whose script was voted of the best unproduced screenplays in Britain.
Defining Feature: Does British cinema have a new crime genre hero after over a decade of Guy Ritchie knock-offs?
The Talent: Director Kimberly Peirce, stars Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore.
The Pitch: New adaptation of the Stephen King shocker about a teenage girl (Moretz) with telekinetic powers and a very pushy mom (Moore).
The Hook: Does Hollywood have anything to add to Brian DePalma’s seminal 1976 version? Strong casting and a leftfield choice of director offer hope.
Defining Feature: Peirce, the director of Boys Don’t Cry, brings a feminist perspective that should make this a different beast from DePalma’s split-screen spectacular.
The Talent: Director Joseph Kosinski, stars Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko.
The Pitch: On a future Earth ravaged by war with alien Scavengers, where humanity lives in the clouds, Cruise’s sky patrolman’s life changes when he rescues Kurylenko from a crashed spaceship.
The Hook: Cruise tends only to do one tentpole feature a year, so his presence alone – in his first sci-fi film since The War Of The Worlds – is exciting.
Defining Feature: Kosinski has adapted his follow-up to Tron: Legacy from his own graphic novel, putting him amongst the rare selection of directors – including Hayao Miyazaki and Frank Miller – who have made films based on their own comics.
The Place Beyond The Pines
The Talent: Director Derek Cianfrance, stars Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper.
The Pitch: Gosling stars as Luke, a stunt rider whose turn to crime puts him on collision course with Cooper’s cop.
The Hook: Never mind the shades of Drive in the synopsis, this is Gosling’s second film with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance, proving the actor’s loyalty to filmmakers who bring out his best.
Defining Feature: Between this and Silver Linings Playbook, Cooper is fast becoming a dramatic actor of weight, even though his year will be dominated by The Hangover 3.
Iron Man 3
The Talent: Director Shane Black, stars Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Kingsley.
The Pitch: Back on his lonesome after The Avengers, Tony Stark (Downey Jr) faces a new threat from Kingsley’s villainous Mandarin.
The Hook: Jon Favreau has been replaced behind the camera by writer/director Black, who last directed Downey Jr in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Expect plenty of laughs and thrills from the master of the modern action movie screenplay.
Defining Feature: Marvel Phase 2 kicks off in style with the promise of a stand-alone Stark adventure with no S.H.I.E.L.D to support him.
The Great Gatsby
The Talent: Director Baz Luhrmann, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.
The Pitch: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s much-filmed classic about a mysterious millionaire in the Roaring Twenties get a lavish makeover.
The Hook: Baz Luhrmann loves a tragic romance, and his flamboyant eye is well suited to Jazz Age fashion. But will his adaptation be faithful or a radical Moulin Rouge-style rethink of the material?
Defining Feature: Luhrmann is shooting in 3D, a rare event for a period drama.
Star Trek Into Darkness
The Talent: Director J.J. Abrams, stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Pitch: Still boldly going in its own direction, Abrams’ parallel Trek sees the Enterprise engaged in a manhunt for Cumberbatch’s shadowy villain.
The Hook: Now that the new cast is in place and the slate wiped clean from Kirk, Nimoy et al, this is the chance for Abrams to really go for it.
Defining Feature: Little has been confirmed about Cumberbatch’s on-screen identity, but – along with his role as Smaug in The Hobbit – this is the year when he will make his mark on Hollywood.
Man of Steel
The Talent: Director Zack Snyder, stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon.
The Pitch: Superman rebooted, taking us back to his roots as an Earthbound Kryptonian baby and his battle with rogue General Zod (Shannon).
The Hook: Produced by Christopher Nolan, this is D.C.’s attempt to muscle in on Marvel with a Batman Begins-style ‘dark’ reimagining. But with the divisive Snyder at the helm, can it emulate the Caped Crusader’s success?
Defining Feature: After missing out on the role of Superman in 2006 (and James Bond, and Edward Cullen, and just about every other major franchise lead), this is Henry Cavill’s long-overdue moment to shine.
World War Z
The Talent: Director Marc Forster, star Brad Pitt.
The Pitch: Based on Max Brooks’ cult novel – an oral history of a zombie pandemic – this sees U.N. worker Pitt traversing the globe in search of a cure.
The Hook: The Walking Dead raised the bar for on-screen zombies; this is the chance to wrestle the genre back into cinemas with its most literate, thoughtful depiction in years.
Defining Feature: Endless reshoots and rumours of a behind-the-scenes have seen the release date slip back from its mooted Christmas 2012 berth. Still, the footage seen to date looks fabulous.
The Talent: Director Guillermo Del Toro, stars Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba.
The Pitch: Giant sea monsters vs human-piloted robots. Bring it on.
The Hook: Del Toro’s first film since 2008’s Hellboy: The Golden Army is, in the director’s words, “a beautiful poem to giant monsters.”
Defining Feature: After his Gilliam-esque difficulties in getting a project completed – he was originally down to direct The Hobbit, and At The Mountains Of Madness remains in limbo – it’s nice that Del Toro is finally back.
The Talent: Director James Mangold, star Hugh Jackman.
The Pitch: Film number 6 for Jackman’s Wolverine, who travels to Japan for an epic dust-up with a Yakuza boss from his past.
The Hook: After the muted reception for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Jackman is really going for it this time. Largely free of mutant baggage, as the title implies this is the definitive article when it comes to the character.
Defining Feature: The oft-delayed project was long mooted as a Darren Aronofsky film – a perfect choice for Wolverine’s obsessive character. Can ‘jack of all trades’ Mangold summon up the same intensity?
The Lone Ranger
The Talent: Director Gore Verbinski, stars Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp.
The Pitch: Reboot of the classic Western serials about a vigilante cowboy (Hammer) and his Native American companion Tonto (Depp).
The Hook: With the Pirates Of The Caribbean saga suffering diminishing returns, the original team – Depp, director Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio – are hoping to recapture former glories by swapping the Jolly Roger for a six-shooter.
Defining Feature: Depp isn’t the lead… but then nor was Captain Jack Sparrow supposed to be the star of the first Pirates film.
The Talent: Director Neill Blomkamp, stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley.
The Pitch: An ex-con (Damon) takes on a perilous mission on a future Earth divided between the poverty of those on the scorched surface and the riches of the elite aboard space station Elysium.
The Hook: Blomkamp’s debut District 9 was the sleeper hit of 2009 – a blockbuster on a budget that scored a rare Best Picture nomination for a sci-fi actioner. This time around, he has more money and an A-list cast. Excited yet?
Defining Feature: District 9 was distinguished by its social awareness and allegory of apartheid. All signs are that Elysium will be a timely fable for a world gripped by financial crisis.
Only God Forgives
The Talent: Director Nicolas Winding Refn, star Ryan Gosling.
The Pitch: Gosling plays Julian, whose Thai kickboxing club is a front for criminal activities. Crime and fighting? That’s not going to end well.
The Hook: Refn and Gosling’s first collaboration, Drive, was voted our Film of 2011 and one of the decade’s defining movies to date. It’s fair to say we’re excited.
Defining Feature: The teaser poster – featuring a battered, puffy-eyed Gosling – suggests that Drive‘s brutal violence was only the beginning.