Summer of 2012

I try not to be the guy that requires you to mark your calendars two years in advance for a film's release date. This post won't necessarily change that, but I should inform you of the major happenings in the summer of 2012.

Warner Bros. has gone and picked a date for the third Batman film by Christopher Nolan. The film, strangely enough, is being loosely referred to as the "sequel to The Dark Knight" and seems to forget about Batman Begins, but I digress. Anyways, the film's release date is slotted for July 20, 2012, a date that by itself seems pretty superfluous. When you look at it within the context of a few other dates that year though, things get tricky.

First off, The Avengers is aiming for a May 4 bow. This is Marvel's tentpole of all tentpoles and should be a huge success at the box office. Of course, success hinges on casting and Marvel not being notorious for their lowballing actors (or in the case of Edward Norton giving him the creative control he wants). I'm confident though that the hype will be deafening for that film and will clearly jump on the back of the success of Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

Second, the next big date that summer is June 29, when the sequel to Star Trek hits theaters. Now, you can go with the Star Trek Corollary that goes something along the lines that even-numbered films are good while odd-numbered ones are bad. That may not be quite right but you get the point: the movie has pretty high expectations to live up to and may not make it. The film will at least give you something non-comic book but rife with geekiness to watch until the following Tuesday, July 3. What happens then?

Finally, July 3 will feature the debut of Sony's Spider-Man reboot, which is currently unnamed (as far as I know). Sony is clearly trying to capitalize on the Fourth of July holiday that happens to fall on Wednesday and explains the unorthodox opening on Tuesday. The jury is still out on the reboot as I don't think many fans wanted it and it could end up being Sony just cramming Spider-Man down our throat for a couple hundred million dollars in box office revenues.

So the dates for The Avengers, Star Trek and Spider-Man were all set when Warner Bros. chose July 20 for the third Batman film. I'm guessing there were a few reasons for the selection. While Spider-Man films are done by Sony Marvel will still get a cut, and I don't think DC wanted to stand idly by during the Summer of Geek and see Marvel kill at the box office. Nolan is also probably getting itchy about being tied to one property such as Batman for such a long time and wants to get onto other projects. Don't get me wrong...I don't think Nolan et. al are tired of doing Batman, but it's the same thing as the Spider-Man trilogy: the fimls are huge productions that require a lot of commitment from all those involved.

There's also the matter of DC's other properties, namely Green Lantern. So far, that's the only character that is actually in production for film. Jonah Hex is due in theaters this June and Superman has to become a film before the rights are transferred. DC has to see that Marvel is hitting home runs left and right with all their properties so why wouldn't DC chime in and make other things happen? The inevitable Justice League film has to be coming sooner or later but I'm not sure it will be along the same lines of The Avengers film.

Anyways, 2012 will be a big summer for comic book movies. I can't see anyone budging (except maybe the Star Trek sequel) that summer, which means it'll be the Summer of Geek indeed.