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13 for 2013: The most-anticipated film releases of the year

11:45 AM, Jan. 17, 2013

Now that Academy Award nominations have been bestowed on the best that film had to offer in 2012 (in theory, anyway), it’s time to start looking toward 2013 in earnest.

We’ll go with 13. For some of these films, it’s going to be a lucky number. For the rest, well, time will tell. (Release dates are tentative.)

“Star Trek Into Darkness” (May 17): Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest once again have to save mankind. We can anticipate Abrams once again infusing the film with a spirit of fun and inventiveness.

“Man of Steel” (June 14): With the Batman franchise played out, for now, it falls to Zack Snyder to carry on the tradition of thinking-man superhero movies. Henry Cavill plays Clark Kent, who’s a little more recognizable once he puts on his cape and tights. Russell Crowe, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon are also in the cast.

“Anchorman: The Legend Continues” (Dec. 20): Ron Burgundy is back! Which means so are Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate, furthering the adventures of San Diego’s most clueless news anchor.

“The Great Gatsby” (May 10): Baz Luhrman’s take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel (in 3D!) has been kicking around for a while now. With Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, anticipation has been high.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Nov. 22): The second installment gets a new director (Francis Lawrence, whose “Water for Elephants” and “I Am Legend” weren’t exactly classics). The good news is that Jennifer Lawrence is back as Katniss Everdeen.

“Monsters University” (June 21): It’s been 12 years since “Monsters, Inc.,” generally regarded as one of the more underrated Pixar efforts. Billy Crystal and John Goodman return for a look back at Mike and Sulley when they attended the University of Fear.

“The World’s End” (Oct. 25): When Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Nick Frost have gotten together in the past, they’ve given us “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” Now they’re back in this film about the 20-year re-enactment of an epic pub crawl, that somehow ends up with our pals having to save the world. They’ve earned our trust by now.

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“Oldboy” (Oct. 11): It takes guts to remake Chan-wook Park’s 2003 martial-arts classic. Well, Spike Lee’s got guts. Josh Brolin stars as a man who has five days to find out why he was held in prison for 15 years.

“Kick-Ass 2” (June 28): The original, released in 2010, was a lot of outrageous fun. Chloe Grace Moretz is back as the pint-size superhero, along with Nicolas Cage as her dad and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who plays the hero of the title. Jim Carrey’s been added as Col. Stars and Stripes.

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” (Oct. 4): If Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez can muster even a portion of the mind-blowing insanity of the 2005 original, we’re in for a treat. Clive Owen, Jessica Alba and Mickey Rourke are back. The question is whether the story can keep up with the atmosphere.

“World War Z” (June 21): Remember when zombies were a thing? Yeah, back then. That’s how long this has been hanging around. Based on Max Brooks’ supercool novel about a zombie pandemic, it stars Brad Pitt. It’s intriguing enough to land on lists like this one, but at some point we’re going to have to judge it on its own merits.

“Her” (not yet scheduled): Spike Jonze’s movies are always worth watching. This one, which he wrote and directs, stars Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely writer who falls for his operating system. Weird. Which makes it a perfect project for Jonze and Phoenix. With Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Rooney Mara.

“Twelve Years a Slave” (Sept. 6): Steve McQueen co-wrote and directs Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Solomon Northup, a free man living in New York and Washington in the 1840s who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Based on Northup’s memoir, the film also stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender.

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