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Many of 2012’s film releases are part of a series — in one way or another

By Jelani Yancey

The new year has begun, and studios have started rolling out advertisements and trailers for this year’s feature films. If they are any indication, 2012 promises to be a good year for action-adventure films and blockbuster sequels.
Follow this handy guide for 2012 releases when heading to the local theater.

“THE HUNGER GAMES”
March 23
This film is and adaptation of the first part of Suzanne Collins’ popular series of science fiction novels. In a dystopian future, youths from 12 districts, including heroine Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), compete in a brutal game of life or death for a chance to provide security for their families.

“THE AVENGERS”
Release Date: May 4
This is the film comics fans have been waiting for. Numerous Marvel Comics properties will cross over, as Nic Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) gathers Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain American (Chris Evans), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to battle the evil Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

“MEN IN BLACK III”
May 25
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back after a 10-year break from the series. Agent J (Smith) must travel back in time to the 1960s to thwart an alien scheme targeting Agent K (Jones). Josh Brolin will play a young Agent K. The film will be offered in 3D.

“PROMETHEUS”
June 8
Science Fiction veteran Ridley Scott’s next effort follows a group of explorers traveling into deep space in search of answers. It was originally envisioned as a prequel to Scott’s “Alien” but will exist in its own universe. The film will be offered in 3D.

“SNOW WHITE AND
THE HUNTSMAN”
June 21
This film is a re-envisioning of the classic children’s story. Snow White (Kristin Stewart), with the help of the Huntsman (Hemsworth), leads a rebellion against the cruel queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron).

“BRAVE”
June 22
After its previous film, “Cars 2,” received a mild reception, Pixar is back with an adventure focusing on a rebellious 10th century Scottish Princess. Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is a skilled archer who rebuffs tradition and the lords of the land. Merida will be the first female protagonist in a Pixar film. The film will be offered in 3D.

“THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN”
Release Date: July 3
Sony canceled plans for a fourth film in the previous Spider-Man series helmed by Sam Raimi and starring Toby Maguire, opting to reboot the franchise. Andrew Garfield will play the titular wall-crawler, while Marc Webb will assume directing duties. This incarnation will focus more on Peter Parker’s difficulties dealing with his new powers.

“THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”
July 20
Christian Bale once again resumes his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Chris Nolan’s final film of the trilogy. The film takes place almost a decade after the events of “The Dark Knight.” Villain Bane (Tom Hardy) has invaded Gotham City, and Batman must resume his role as the city’s guardian again.

“SKYFALL”
October 26
Daniel Craig reprises his role as secret agent James Bond for the third time this fall. Craig reinvigorated the long-running series with 2006’s “Casino Royale” and 2008’s “Quantum of Solace.” In “Skyfall,” he will face off against Javier Bardem, who plays a still-unidentified villain.

“THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2”
November 16
Fans flocked to theaters to see the penultimate film in the series, “Breaking Dawn Part-1” at the end of last year. But they will have to wait until this fall for the conclusion. “Part 2” promises plenty of drama and, of course, shirtless vampires and werewolves.

“THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY”
December 14
Peter Jackson transported fans to the realm of Middle Earth more than a decade ago with his adaptation of J.R.R Tolkein’s fantasy novel “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” and its sequels. Jackson heads back to Middle Earth to follow the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) before the events of “Fellowship.”

“DJANGO UNCHAINED”
December 25
The latest offering from “Pulp Fiction” mastermind Quentin Tarantino follows slave turned bounty hunter Django (Jamie Foxx) on a mission of revenge. As per usual with Tarantino films, the western will feature a talented ensemble cast including, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Kurt Russell and Sacha Baron Cohen.









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