2012 Can’t Get Here Fast Enough for the Nerds

by Mark Wilson

It’s been quite a week for nerds. No fewer than three film trailers have sparked our nerdly interest for 2012. It can’t come too soon, either, as 2011 was a crappy year for the nerds. (Non-nerdly films, however, were great. I’m thinking here of Drive and Tree of Life.)

The Dark Knight Rises is the final episode in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and it features Bane, Batman’s deadliest villain yet. Bane made a ridiculous appearance in the ludicrous Batman and Robin, where he lacked all of the criminal mastermind charm of the Bane found in comic books. Readers of the Batman comic books — and ostensibly even non-readers — remember what happened when Batman fought Bane. Will the same thing happen in the movie? We’ll find out July 20, 2012.

Prometheus returns Ridley Scott to the driver’s seat of a science fiction film. Though he’s remembered for science fiction, he directed only two such films. It’s probably because those two were Alien and Blade Runner that they overtake much of his other work. Prometheus is about . . . well, it’s about something that happens in space. The trailer seems to suggest that the movie could be a prequel to Alien, and not in a bad way, like Alien v. Predator. If my speculation is true, then it shows human beings discovering the alien out in space somewhere. Makes sense: in the original film, The Company already knew about the alien because it was able to program Ian Holm with instructions about what to do should the Nostromo find the alien. Coming June 8, 2012.

At long last, The Hobbit has actually been made. It’s actually been made into two films. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14, 2012. Its counterpart, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, opens a year after that. It’s tempting to be cynical about splitting up movies like this and conclude that they’re doing it to make double the revenue. Then again, the Extended Editions of each Lord of the Rings film added about an hour to each of their runtimes, so maybe it’s worth it to pack all the stuff in to each movie Peter Jackson can. The Hobbit blissfully features the same actors, when necessary, from Lord of the Rings. Martin Freeman (Dr. Watson of the new Steven Moffat-penned Sherlock Holmes series) looks like a good fit as young Bilbo Baggins.

Though their trailers weren’t released last week, several other 2012 titles should make the nerds happy. The Avengers is the culmination of the individual superhero films Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. That’s May 4, 2012.

I’m upset about The Amazing Spider-Man, mostly because the first Spiderman came out only ten years ago. But we’ll see. July 3, 2012.

We haven’t seen Will Smith in a science fiction film since 2008’s Hancock, which was widely regarded as a stinker. Can you believe that the last Men in Black was 2002, and the first one was 2000? Men in Black III could be a good idea, or it could be desperation (some more emphasis on the latter because the plot involves time travel). Because the plot involves traveling back to the 1960s, where Will Smith will interact with Josh Brolin playing a younger Tommy Lee Jones, an important element of Men in Black — the banter between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones — might be lacking. Then again, if you were going to hire someone to play young Tommy Lee Jones, wouldn’t it be Josh Brolin?

And then there’s sequels for Underworld, G.I. Joe, Ghost Rider, and Clash of the Titans. Probably stay home for those.