If this truly is the last year of mankind’s existence, there will be plenty of great movies to send us on our way. Of all the blockbusters and fanboy movies coming out in 2012, eight of them have already built the sort of hype that is usually saved for only a couple flicks per year. Here are some of the movies that already have internet message board moderators pulling out their hair. Every film listed is either a prequel, sequel or adaptation of a bestselling book; that may explain the hype.


The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)

Director Christopher Nolan is ending his Batman trilogy with a bang this year, and many are calling this chapter the most anticipated movie of 2012.

Since the booming success and critical acclaim of his 2008 film “The Dark Knight,” the tenth highest grossing film of all time, fans have been awaiting this conclusion. They eat up every little detail Nolan discloses before he can make the announcement himself.

Everyone remembers Nolan’s dark, sly and gritty approach to the Caped Crusader’s story as well as the captivating performance given by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Hopefully, this last installment can have the same effect.


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14)

Before the world ends, at least we will all get to see this movie. With all of the rumors surrounding the production of the film and Peter Jackson’s battles with the studio, an “unexpected journey” perfectly defines the fact that this prequel to “Lord of the Rings” will actually be released.

The first of the two-part chronicle of Bilbo Baggins will be released at the end of this year, to the excitement of LOTR fans everywhere.


The Hunger Games (March 23)

Suzanne Collins’ beloved novel has been adapted to film and will be released early this year.

The first of the planned series, The Hunger Games is about a deteriorated North America that becomes divided into 12 districts. Two representatives of each district are chosen to participate in a brutal fight to the death for the citizens to watch.

The main characters live in District 12, which they describe being called Appalachia by their ancestors. The film was shot in different parts of North Carolina including Charlotte, Shelby and Asheville.

The Hunger Games stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson and is directed by Gary Ross.


The Avengers (May 4)

Without a doubt, the biggest superhero film of all superhero films will be coming your way this year.

Many well known super human protagonists will be joining forces in “The Avengers” to fight Loki, Thor’s brother, from destroying Earth. The Hulk, Ironman, Captain America and Thor are among those coming together to prevent this catastrophe from becoming reality.

The film, directed by Joss Whedon of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer fame, will officially trigger the geek in all of us this May.


American Reunion (April 6)

There was this one time, in 1999, when four guys made a pact to lose their virginity before graduating from high school.

Now, 12 years later, the complete original cast of the original American Pie movie series is back for their high school reunion in Michigan.

Considering that more than a decade later, people still get the references to band camps and MILFs, it will be exciting to see what the guys have up their sleeves.


Men in Black III (May 25)

Sticking with this blast from the past theme, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are black – I mean – back this year as well.

Agent J (Smith) goes back in time to stop an alien from killing Agent K (Jones) and changing history.

“Men in Black II” was panned by many critics, so here’s hoping this installment can rectify the series that started out with a movie so memorable. If Smith can just wear that orange jumpsuit he sported in the first installment, I’m sure it will be memorable enough.


The Amazing Spiderman (July 3)

The previous Spiderman franchise, which only ended in 2007, is being entirely rebooted this year.

Andrew Garfield takes over as the new leading man, along with Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans as Gwen Stacy and the Lizard, respectively. The fans’ reception for this new Spiderman series is hard to predict, but hopefully the movie is a worthy reboot to Sam Mendes’ “old” series.


The Bourne Legacy (August 3)

There’s a new CIA operative this time around for the Bourne series. Jeremy Renner, from The Town and The Hurt Locker fame, is taking over the franchise in place of Matt Damon with an original screenplay.

A new hero and a new chapter begins for the Bourne movies this August.


There are many honorable mentions for anticipated movies of 2012. Skyfall, Prometheus, Battleship, Red Tails, Brave, The Expendables 2, Snow White and The Huntsman, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the final Twilight film are also coming out this year.

Overall, 2012 should be a good year for movies, with so many highly anticipated films hitting cinemas in such a short time.

Even if some of these films are a disappointment, here’s guessing their box office revenue will not be.

Patrick is a former Community Editor and A&E editor for the Niner Times. He is pursuing a Communications major with minors in Film Studies and Journalism at UNC Charlotte. Contact him at pbogans@uncc.edu.