Top 30 Most Anticipated Genre Films in 2013

Happy holidays! The year’s almost over; 2013 is nearly upon us, and it is time to look forward. Today, The Ranting Dragon is looking forward to some of the most promising and anticipated speculative films that are coming to the big screen next year. While last year’s list had only twenty films, this year has enough awesome-looking movies to fill a top thirty list and then some.

Which movie will win the title of best genre film? Only time can tell–but for now, we have attempted to collect all the most promising ones into this list of the thirty most anticipated films of 2013. While the order will most definitely be debated, this is what we came up with after careful deliberation and meditation. At times, it was pretty difficult to decide which film to look forward to most. They all look so good!

Without further ado, here are The Ranting Dragon’s thirty most anticipated 2013 genre films, as composed by Stephan and Dan. All release dates are American dates, but you can click the IMDb button with each movie for your local release date.

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1. Click to embiggen. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Click to find this title on IMDb. Click to watch a trailer.
For the second consecutive year, The Hobbit is our absolute number one most anticipated speculative film of the year. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey may not have been the best adaptation, but as a stand-alone film it was still pretty amazing. This title, The Desolation of Smaug, seems to indicate a lot more epicness in the second part of this trilogy loosely based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s children’s novel. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until December 13th to find out what Smaug looks like.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
2. Click to embiggen. Star Trek Into Darkness
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The Star Trek reboot continues May 17th with a J.J. Abrams directed take on a story that looks suspiciously like Wrath of Khan. With British sensation Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain John Harrison—is he a redshirt, or is Abrams simply messing with us?—this looks to be a fantastic addition to the new version of the great franchise.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
3. Click to embiggen. Ender’s Game
Click to find this title on IMDb.
After many attempts by various production companies to secure the rights to this best-selling Orson Scott Card novel, Card decided the best way to do a job right was to do it himself. Card co-founded Fresco Pictures, who on November 1st will be tackling this pillar of the science fiction genre, converting this much beloved story of growing up, war, and philosophy for the big screen.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb icon above.
4. Click to embiggen. Oz: The Great and Powerful
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On March 8th, we’ll once again take a journey from Kansas to the world of Oz, joining John Franco as a small-time magician who finds himself thrust into the middle of a fantastical world of danger and magic. He must keep his wits about him in the face of witches both wicked and good. Directed by Sam Raimi of Spiderman fame.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
5. Click to embiggen. Horns
Click to find this title on IMDb.
After Carrie, which you can find in spot twenty-one of this list, Horns is the second film adaptation of a book written by a King to come out in 2013. It is based on a book of the same title by Stephen King’s son, pen name Joe Hill. Horns tells the story of a young man, played by Daniel Radcliffe, who awakens one day to discover horns growing out of his forehead. With this Kafka-esque fantasy horror (that doesn’t have a confirmed release date yet), Joe Hill establishes himself a solid heir to the King legacy.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb icon above.
6. Click to embiggen. Iron Man 3
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The first film in the second phase of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is Iron Man 3, coming out on May 3rd. Based on its trailer, this new story of Tony Stark is going to be a lot darker than previous films. Even better, it’s actually going to deal with the emotional repercussions of The Avengers. Don’t expect any crossover characters in this film, though. Iron Man 3 will focus on Iron Man battling his biggest foe yet: The Mandarin. It promises to be epic! If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the trailer below!
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
7. Click to embiggen. World War Z
Click to find this title on IMDb. Click to watch a trailer.
Appearing on our list for the second year in a row (the original 2012 date having been pushed back to June 21st, 2013 for Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher to come out instead), Brad Pitt’s rendition of the Max Brooks novel brings us to a world on the ragged brink of destruction as zombie hordes ravage the earth. The novel received critical acclaim for its stark realism regarding the politics, technology, economics, and culture, making this a thriller that promises to get deep into your head and lead to some sleepless nights.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
8. Click to embiggen. Man of Steel
Click to find this title on IMDb. Click to watch a trailer.
Superman is the epitome of a superhero. Not only did he propel comics into a Golden Age way back when, he’s also the most well-known superhero of all time. Frankly, though, I’ve always thought that made him a walking cliché. Superman may have worked in the 40s and 50s, but nowadays, we want more than nearly flawless, invincible heroes. Produced by Christopher Nolan—who brought us the Dark Knight trilogy—and directed by Zack Snyder, Man of Steel, which comes out in theaters on June 14th, seems to be the answer to this problem. Judging by the trailer, this newest addition to the Superman franchise seems to be focusing on Clark Kent’s one weakness other than Kryptonite: his humanity.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
9. Click to embiggen. The Wolverine
Click to find this title on IMDb.
Hugh Jackman reprises his role from X-men Origins: Wolverine in this movie, released on July 26th, sending Logan to Japan and filling out the next stage of his back story. We can expect The Wolverine, from the writer of The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie, to be a dark and serious installment in the story of a dark and serious character. In a recent interview, Jackman revealed that The Wolverine will be set after X-Men: The Last Stand, and will feature a cameo from one of the past X-Men.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb icon above.
10. Click to embiggen. Thor: The Dark World
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Thor: The Dark World, sequel to Thor, is the second Marvel Cinematic Universe film in 2013. After the events of The Avengers, Thor is battling dark elves, led by Malekith—who is played by British superstar Christopher Eccleston—across all the nine realms, including Earth. Coming to theaters on November 8th, Thor: The Dark World won’t have any S.H.I.E.L.D. cameos, but the original cast will return again, and while Loki isn’t the main villain, Marvel promises plenty of screentime for the relationship between the two brothers.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
11. Click to embiggen. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Click to find this title on IMDb. Click to watch a trailer.
That awkward moment when you realize that yet another film is on the anticipation list for two consecutive years… In the case of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, formerly known as Cobra Strikes, the awkwardness is entirely Paramount’s. You see, the original film had Channing Tatum dying pretty early in the film; but with Tatum suddenly becoming a box office superstar and test audiences demanding to see more of him, this G.I. Joe sequel had to be delayed for reshoots. It will finally make it to the big screens on March 30th, and promises to be heaps of brainless fun.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
12. Click to embiggen. Riddick
Click to find this title on IMDb.
September 6th. Mark that day on your calendars, the day that Vin Diesel returns to theaters as Riddick in this long-awaited sequel to Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. Like in the good old times, our blind hero will fight for survival against alien predators and bounty hunters. Add to that the epicness of Riddick’s home planet heading for destruction, and Riddick promises to be a sure box office hit.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb icon above.
13. Click to embiggen. Warm Bodies
Click to find this title on IMDb. Click to watch a trailer.
Warm Bodies is coming out on February 1st, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Good timing, because Warm Bodies presents us another Romeo and Juliet retelling… Zombie Apocalypse style! With a Zombie Plague threating human life, this is a light-hearted, horrific tale of love overcoming all, including the slight problem of being dead.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
14. Click to embiggen. Winter’s Tale
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Many popular actors—including Will Smith, Russel Crowe, Collin Farrell, and Jennifer Connolly—will star together in Winter’s Tale, an adaptation of the book with the same title by Mark Helprin. Winter’s Tale is widely regarded as one of the great pieces of American literature. This magical realist tale of a cold New York will come to theaters on a yet to be specified date in 2013.
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Unfortunately, there are no videos available for Winter’s Tale yet. There is, however, a synopsis:
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New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake—orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter Lake, a middle-aged Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young girl, who is dying.
15. Click to embiggen. Elysium
Click to find this title on IMDb.
After the success of the highly political action movie District 9, Neill Blomkamp brings us another story of disenfranchisement and action on August 9th. Elysium stars Jodie Foster in a future world where the very wealthy live in luxury high above the ruined earth, on a man-made space station. On a ruined Earth far below resides the rest of humanity, including an ex-con played by Matt Damon, who undertakes a mission which could finally bring equality to the world.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb icon above.
16. Click to embiggen. After Earth
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From M. Night Shyamalan, the director that brought us disappointments like The Last Airbender, The Happening, Unbreakable, and Signs, comes a new science fiction tale that seems designed to slingshot the son of Will Smith into popularity—again. Yet, there’s something about the trailer of this post-post-apocalyptic film that makes me at least mildly intrigued. If the premise of an earth abandoned by humans a century ago is done justice, this may actually be a great film. We’ll know on June 7th.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
17. Click to embiggen. Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters
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During the past few years, we’ve seen a trend of taking fairy tales back to their Grimm roots. Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters continues this trend. Coming out on January 25th, it promises to be a dark and violent, but also comical, rendition of the classic tale, with Hansel and Gretel as adult hunters-of-witches, battling to protect the townsfolk from the evils lurking in the woods.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
18. Click to embiggen. Pacific Rim
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Pacific Rim looks like Power Rangers meeting Cloverfield, made by one of the best directors of our time, Guillermo del Toro. You may laugh at that description, but seriously, doesn’t it just make the teenage geek hidden deep inside you jump up in glorious joy? No? Well, maybe you should take a look at the trailer below. I sure know the geek in me cannot wait for July 12th, when Pacific Rim comes to the big screen and huge robots start battling alien monsters!
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
19. Click to embiggen. The End of the World
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On June 14th, a number of celebrities (including Emma Watson, Seth Rogan, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, and Jason Segel) are partying at James Franco’s house when, suddenly, the apocalypse happens. And the great thing is that all these actors are playing themselves. From the minds that produced Superbad and The 40-Year Old Virgin, The End of the World promises to be a hilarious romp through all the tropes from the recent glut of disaster movies.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb icon above.
20. Click to embiggen. Epic
Click to find this title on IMDb. Click to watch a trailer.
On May 24th, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is back—animated and more epic than ever! Epic, because that’s the title of this film, isn’t really a remake of those classic films. It just looks a lot like it. However, when the teenager in Epic gets herself shrunk and transported into a forest setting, she becomes part of an epic battle between the forces of good and evil. Doesn’t it sound, well, epic? On top of that, the animation looks absolutely mind-blowing.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
21. Click to embiggen. Carrie
Click to find this title on IMDb. Click to watch a trailer.
An oldie but a goodie in the horror genre, this third film adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie stars Chloe Grace Moretz, from Kick-ass and Let Me In, as the titular troubled high-schooler. Be prepared to learn her name on March 15th. Carrie is a wonderful paranormal horror film from the master of horror himself, and the first teaser trailers promise a film that does the book justice.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
22. Click to embiggen. Frozen
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Just in time for winter, November 27th sees a new animated Disney musical film by the director of Tarzan and the animator of Pocahontas and The Little Mermaid. Frozen is a rendition of the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Snow Queen.” With “The Snow Queen” being considered one of the best of the Christian Andersen stories by many critics, Frozen promises to be an excellent addition to the Disney musical line-up.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb icon above.
23. Click to embiggen. Beautiful Creatures
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Ever wanted to see a depressing version of The Adams Family doing a gender-swapped Twilight story? Yeah, neither did I, yet Beautiful Creatures looks at least somewhat interesting. This may be the next teen sensation. I’ll check it out when it’s on DVD, but if you’re a fan of Twilight or The Hunger Games, you may want to add February 13th, the release of Beautiful Creatures, to your calendar.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
24. Click to embiggen. Oblivion
Click to find this title on IMDb. Click to watch a trailer.
An adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, Oblivion stars Tom Cruise as part of an operation to recover vital resources from the ruins of Earth. In the wake of a decades-long war with the Scavs, Tom Cruise’s character finds himself embroiled in a battle for survival as he uncovers a conspiracy of epic proportions. This typical, action-packed science fiction novel of future earth launches April 19th.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
25. Click to embiggen. The Seventh Son
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Little but the release date—October 18th—is known about The Seventh Son, a film based on an 18th century adventure story about a boy learning to fight evil spirits. We do know, though, that it stars Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges. That must count for something, right? The Seventh Son is an adaptation of The Wardstone Chronicles, a dark fantasy series written by Joseph Delaney, and may well be the first in a series of films.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb icon above.
26. Click to embiggen. Dorothy of Oz
Click to find this title on IMDb.
Dorothy of Oz is an animated musical based on the novel by Roger Baum. It tells the tale of Dorothy Gale returning to Oz to save her friends from The Jester, who is using the Wicked Witch’s wand to menace the land of Oz. With voice work by Lea Michele from Glee, Patrick Stewart, Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short and the inestimable Brian Blessed, Dorothy of Oz looks like a great family film. Unfortunately, no release date has been confirmed as of yet.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb icon above.
27. Click to embiggen. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Click to find this title on IMDb. Click to watch a trailer.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is the umpteenth film based on an immensely popular paranormal book series for young adults. This adaptation of a book by Cassandra Clare hits theaters on August 23rd. With its twist on the familiar YA concepts—teenagers with a half-angel lineage—City of Bones is set to win the hearts of teenagers all over the world. This critic may even be caught feeling mild enthusiasm based on the trailer below.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
28. Click to embiggen. Jack the Giant Slayer
Click to find this title on IMDb. Click to watch a trailer.
Another entry repeated from our 2012 list, Jack the Giant Slayer is now slated for release on March 1st. This modern fairy tale from the producer of X-Men: First Class tells the story of a threat to the uneasy peace between men and giants, and the quest of a young farm boy to rescue a kidnapped princess. Like Hansel and Gretel, it promises to be a more modern retellings of an old fairy tale, except, perhaps, with less humor and more stereotypical epicness.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
29. Click to embiggen. The Host
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Stephanie Meyer is most famous—or infamous—for her Twilight series. However, she has written another book of relative fame, The Host, and unlike Twilight, this book is actually pretty well-written. Thus, I can’t help but look forward to its film adaptation. On March 29th comes this film in which aliens take over human bodies, and the love of one young host for her former boyfriend may change the world and save humanity from extinction.
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb or Apple Trailer icons above.
30. Click to embiggen. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
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We know a lot of our readers loved The Hunger Games. Therefore, we can’t escape including its sequel in our list of highly anticipated films coming out in 2013. Last, and least, on our list is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Based on the book of the same title by Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire will bring the continuation of the poorly-written story of Katniss Everdeen to theaters on November 22nd. And if the synopsis of the film sounds super interesting to you, what with talk of an epic rebellion, don’t get too excited; she’s simply going back into the arena to brutally battle for her life. Again. In a little less than a year, we’ll find out whether this installment actually involves hunger!
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You can view more about this film on YouTube, or you can click the IMDb icon above.

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Here’s to an amazing year of speculative fiction in theaters and on DVD and Blu-ray! Which of these films are you anticipating? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!

Have a great year on the edge of your seat (with optional 3D glasses on your nose).

About Stephan van Velzen

Stephan van Velzen
A 29 year-old Communications student, Stephan loves publicity and design, particularly web design. When he’s not designing websites, he’s busy being a total geek for fantasy. In The Ranting Dragon, he has found a way to combine these passions and discover a new love for writing too. Most of all, though, Stephan is just a crazy Dutch guy who enjoys doing things that people don’t expect.

View all articles written by Stephan van Velzen.

6 comments

  1. Exciting list! I am definitely looking forward to at least half of these movies. Is “The Giver” starring Jeff Bridges not set to come out in 2013?

  2. I can’t even begin to tell how excited I am about Into Darkness. And I didn’t know Ender’s Game was coming – perfect excuse to finally read the book!

  3. Hmm, if I had to reorder this list it would look completely different, with the exception of the Hobbit on 1 of course.

    I quite liked the Hunger Games books, very readable, nice story, despite not exactly fitting into the target audience. The film was a very good adaptation and a decent film in its own right. I’m quite looking forward to Catching Fire.

    On the other hand, the first GI Joe and Origins: Wolverine were some of the worst films I’ve seen. Ever. Especially GI Joe. Seriously, wtf was up with that? I’ve seen and enjoyed some ridiculous action films from back in the 80’s and 90’s but this was just too much.

    Ender’s Game might be as good as the books are said to be. I’ll never know, I just can’t get past Card’s politics.

    Before I read this I wasn’t aware of the Horns film and the new Riddick. They immediately went into my top 10 most anticipated films for 2013.

    Let me in (though I slightly preferred the Swedish original) and Kick Ass score really high on my favorite film list, so I’d go see Carrie just for the fact that Chloe Grace Moretz is in it. I read the book this year as well though and I really liked it, so it can’t really go wrong, right?

    World War Z will probably be a good film, but from what I’ve seen and read I doubt it’ll have much if anything at all to do with the books.

    Epic looks like a lot of fun too.

    Warm bodies: Ew.

    • I’m a bit of a purist, and having read The Hunger Games about two weeks before I saw the film, I had a big problem with its adaptation. Especially the romance between Katniss and Peeta. Most of Catching Fire is about selling their romance to the public, but in the film version of HG, the communication between Haymitch and Katniss goes through notes. This means that the entire public already knows that she’s faking it. Wonder how they’re going to solve that huge problem in the next movie.

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