What We’re Looking Forward to in 2010: Sci-Fi Movies

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Forget looking forward to 2010; I’ve already been impressed by a handful of 2010 titles.

We’ve already seen Daybreakers and The Book of Eli – both pretty captivating – and we’ve already moved on to obsessing about Legion. That is, when I’m not renting old-school sci-fi classics for our “Most Underrated Sci-Fi Masterpieces” contest.

It’s a little difficult to look out at a complete year in film. Some release dates are still being finalized, some films aren’t even done shooting. And you never know what little indie sleeper is going to come up and surprise you. I just finished watching a fun little thriller called Carriers that I had never even heard of before (I’m going to write up more about that for Monday). So there may be a few notable omissions here.

(More on Techland: What We’re Looking Forward to in 2010: Sci-Fi TV)

In any event, here are a handful of the titles that we’ve already been talking about around Techland headquarters. The trailers have been watched, the expectations have soared. Sign us up now.

Iron Man 2 (May 7) – Is there any debate? Sure to be the superhero film of the year, Iron Man 2 looks like it has the same Tony Stark swagger and Pepper Potts allure, but this time it also has the indestructibility of War Machine, the sneering vindictiveness of Mickey Rourke, and some seriously sexy Scarlett Johansson martial arts moves. If it wasn’t for Jon Favreau being at the helm again, I might be worried about the multiple bad guys on display here. We’ve seen plenty of franchises (Spider-Man, Batman) undone by having too many cooks in the kitchen. But the same team is in place for this second go-around, and if the trailer above is any indicator, Iron Man 2 should be plenty epic.

Tron Legacy (Dec. 17) – So many reasons to be excited here. All of us at Techland are big Tron fans – so big, in fact, that we’ve nominated the movie as one of the 20 contenders for the most underrated sci-fi film of all time  (voting for the underrated epics ends here Tuesday). And in 2009, there were plenty of reasons to get lost in some new Tron love. The 3-D test footage featuring Jeff Bridges zooming around on a digital bike was screened at Comic-Con, demonstrating just how sleek, stylish and sophisticated this virtual gladiator world could be. And thanks to Avatar upping the 3-D ante a few weeks ago – with Tim Burton set to follow in just a few months (read about his Alice in Wonderland below) – I’m now expecting a whole lot more from a virtually-created, immersive Tron universe:

Then there’s the fact that Tron Legacy is not a reinvention but a sequel, actually pushing the story forward into more advanced CG territory. So there’s a decent chance that not only will this thing look great; it could have a strong story to boot. My only point of concern is the film’s director: Joseph Kosinski. Not ringing a bell? That’s because the guy’s never directed a movie before. But he has helmed some rather remarkable commercial work:

Can Kosinski translate these skills to a feature film? Only 351 days until we all find out.

Legion (Jan. 22) – Angel vs. Angel. Come on, who’s not intrigued? God has lost faith in humanity, he’s sent down a whole cadre of angels to clean up this unfortunate mess, and in a rural diner, the Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) waits to fight on our behalf, unleashing holy hell. Scott Stewart has never directed a film, which either means his ideas are so good that he’s convinced some big people in Hollywood to give him a chance, or this thing’s going to suck. (See Techland’s top 10 sci-fi films of the decade)

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