127 Hours (7th January)
The Talent: Danny Boyle (director), James Franco.
The Pitch: Based on the true-life tale (TFT) of adrenaline junkie Aron Ralston, whose solo canyoneering adventure ended in disaster when a falling boulder pinned his arm to the cliff face with no hope of rescue.
The Hook: Now, an Oscar-winning A-lister, Boyle confounds expectations by following up the restless motion of Slumdog Millionaire with a film about a man standing still for five days. But this most kinetic of directors has plenty up his sleeve, including a tour-de-force from Franco.
Defining Feature: The literally nerve-shredding climax, which has reportedly seen U.S. audiences go weak at the knees.
The King's Speech (7th January)
The Talent: Tom Hooper (director), Colin Firth, Helena Bonham-Carter, Geoffrey Rush.
The Pitch: Another TFT (this is Oscar season, after all), as Edward VIII’s abdication suddenly leaves his stammering brother George (Firth) in line for the throne. Cue some urgent elocution lessons with Rush’s waspish speech therapist.
The Hook: The cast-iron pedigree of the cast is matched by fast-rising directorial star Hooper ( The Damned Utd , TV’s Longford ). And who doesn’t want to see Helena Bon-Cat playing the future Queen Mum?
Defining Feature: Firth’s performance is likely to better last year’s A Single Man in terms of overall gong haul. Especially with a Royal Wedding in the offing.
True Grit (14th January)
The Talent: Joel and Ethan Coen (directors); Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin.
The Pitch: A remake of Henry Hathaway’s 1969 Western, which won ‘Duke’ John Wayne his long overdue Oscar as one-eyed curmudgeon Rooster Cogburn escorting a girl across Injun territory.
The Hook: Any Coen Brothers movie gets our vote, but this one seems a cast-iron success. The rugged setting recalls No Country For Old Men , but Cogburn – the funniest character Wayne played - will allow some the Coens' trademark wit into the mix.
Defining Feature: Bridges’ reunion with the Coens. Had he not won last year, who’d bet against The Dude becoming the second Rooster to win Best Actor?
The Green Hornet (14th January)
The Talent: Michel Gondry (director), Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz.
The Pitch: Bored media tycoon Britt Reid (Rogen) becomes a crimefighter, drawing on employee Kato’s (Chou) martial arts and weapons expertise.
The Hook: Another superhero adaptation – but one not inspired by a comic, The Green Hornet instead being a veteran of 1930s radio and 1940s film serials. Free from Marvel / DC fanbase placation, Gondry should be free to work his indie sensibility into the genre.
Defining Feature: Gondry’s DIY indie aesthetic, Rogen’s slovenly charm – could this be the moment the superhero movie gets “sweded”?
Never Let Me Go (21st January)
The Talent: Mark Romanek (director), Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield.
The Pitch: Based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed novel, the story brings the author’s reserved, stately style into subject matter more commonly associated with sci-fi. Any more would be telling.
The Hook: Music vid maestro Romanek hasn’t directed a feature since 2002’s One Hour Photo , making this a much-anticipated return for his imaginative visual style. The fact he’s bagged some of the best young actors in Britain is the icing on his chilly cake.
Defining Feature: Ishiguro vs Romanek is a tantalising blend of literary versus MTV aesthetics, offering that rare prospect: a film tooled for awards-bait and cult viewing alike.
Black Swan (21st January)
The Talent: Darren Aronofsky (director), Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel.
The Pitch: Cassel’s domineering ballet director needs the ultimate actress to play the dual role of innocent White Swan and sexpot Black Swan in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake . Portman’s perfect for the former, but can she convincingly be crazy when Mila Kunis’ rival offers a better option?
The Hook: The auteur of obsession, Aronofsky, returns with a film that provides the missing link between The Wrestler ’s study of tortured athleticism and the mentalism of his earlier features.
Or, if you’re not a chin-stroking movie buff, how about the prospect of Portman and Kunis locking lesbo lips?
Defining Feature: So off-the-wall everybody will be talking about it, especially after (SPOILER) Portman wins the Oscar.
Biutiful (28th January)
The Talent: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (director), Javier Bardem.
The Pitch: Bardem’s Cannes-winning turn as Uxbal, a businessman involved in shady underworld activity who struggles to reconcile his dodgy deals with the demands of being a single parent.
The Hook: Inarritu’s first film without usual screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga offers a change of pace from the globe-trotting, multi-strand Babel to a slow-burn character study focussed on the finest actor in World Cinema.
Defining Feature: Bardem, who’s already won Best Actor at Cannes – this could be the performance that leaves even Anton Chigurh in the shade.
The Fighter (4th February)
The Talent: David O. Russell (director), Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams.
The Pitch: The true-life tale of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg), trained by his brother Dick Eklund (Bale) to become a World Title contender.
The Hook: This traditionally-sounding tale has generated a huge amount of leftfield interest, with Darren Aronofsky once attached, before his departure paved the way for Russell, who badly needs a hit after his volatile professional life became a source of mockery.
Defining Feature: Wahlberg’s done some of his best work for Russell, but the presence of Bale in a supporting role is just as intriguing – could this be his first Oscar nom?
Sanctum (4th February)
The Talent: Alister Grierson (director), James Cameron (exec producer), Richard Roxburgh, Ioan Gruffudd.
The Pitch: A team of underwater cave divers get trapped in a remote – but DEADLY! – system of caverns.
The Hook: Little is known, but this de fact Cameron project combines two of his obsessions: diving, and 3D – with newcomer Grierson using the same technology Cameron pioneered on Avatar .
Defining Feature: After too many cruddy post-conversion jobs ( Clash of the Titans , we’re looking at you), Sanctum spearheads the growing use of what we call proper 3D in 2011.
The Beaver (11th February)
The Talent: Jodie Foster (director/star), Mel Gibson, Anton Yelchin.
The Pitch: A depressed businessman goes totally loopy, as he uses a beaver hand puppet as the mouthpiece for unpalatable truths.
The Hook: The hook should have been Foster’s return behind the camera in an intriguing Bulworth -style satire. Instead, this is all about Gibson, and whether punters are going to get the joke given his recent racist outbursts.
Defining Feature: A hunch – some wag is going to superimpose the beaver onto video footage whenever somebody makes a gaffe, and the meme of 2011 will be born.
Paul (18th February)
The Talent: Greg Mottola (director), Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen.
The Pitch: Man-children Graham and Clive (Pegg and Frost) have a close encounter with the titular alien while on an American road trip.
The Hook: A meeting of comedic contintents, as Pegg & Frost (on sabbatical from Edgar Wright) hook up with Superbad partners Mottola and Rogen.
Defining Feature: After the lukewarm box-office accorded Wright’s Scott Pilgrim Versus The World , can the Pegg/Frost axis survive the Transatlantic translation of their very British style? In the capable hands of Mottola, quite possibly.
Howl (25th February)
The Talent: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman (directors), James Franco, Jon Hamm.
The Pitch: The TFT of 'Beat' poet Allen Ginsberg, whose debut published poem Howl caused such outrage it led to a bitterly-contested obscenity trial.
The Hook: Star-of-the-moment Franco, anchoring a typically experimental, Beat-esque film (by documentarians-turned-dramatists Epstein and Friedman) with charm and sensitivity.
Defining Feature: The Beats are in vogue, with an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road also on the way. This is a useful primer to that pre- Mad Men age of poetry and pot-smoking.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (4th March)
The Talent: Troy Nixey (director), Guillermo Del Toro (producer/writer), Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce.
The Pitch: Remake of a 1973 TV movie, in which Holmes and Pearce inherit a creepy old house, only to find - surprise! - it's occupied by nasty creatures.
The Hook: At last, a horror remake that isn't based on an all-time classic, the original is a del Toro touchstone but not widely known. Originally planned as a PG-13, newcomer Nixey got carried away enough to warrant an R-rating.
Defining Feature: A rare screen outing for the non-Tom half of TomKat will intrigue tabloids, but we're more excited by Nixey. Don't forget: the last time del Toro took a newcomer under his wing, we got The Orphanage .
Restless (11th March)
The Talent: Gus Van Sant (director), Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper.
The Pitch: Offbeat indie dramedy about a terminally ill young woman and her boyf, who gets his kicks from attending funerals. Like you do.
The Hook: Gus Van Sant's like a cinematic tombola, We can bever be sure if we're going to get a crowd-pleaser like Good Will Hunting , or an experimental shaggy-dog story like Gerry . The Cameron Crowe-lite subject matter suggests this one might be a bit of both.
Defining Feature: A proper leading role for Wasikowska that doesn't involve cats, rabbits or hatters.
The Eagle (18th March)
The Talent: Kevin Macdonald (director), Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Mark Strong
The Pitch: Loosely based on historical fact, this is the story of Tatum's Roman soldier in Britain, on the search for the fabled Ninth Legion who vanished while fighting Celts and Picts.
The Hook: Given that Neil Marshall's film Centurion was also about the Ninth Legion, this is a kinda, sorta sequel, given historical heft by ex-documentarian Macdonald and an old-school leading performance from fast-rising Tatum.
Defining Feature: Our now more-or-less annual fix of savagery with swords and sandals.
Sucker Punch (25th March)
The Talent: Zack Snyder (director), Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Vanessa Hudgens.
The Pitch: According to Snyder, "Alice in Wonderland with machine guns." Specifically, the misadventures of a bunch of sexy/crazy ladies battling to escape from a mental asylum.
The Hook: After his curveball dalliance with CGI owls, Zack Snyder is back to the Spring stomping ground he pretty much owns after Dawn of the Dead , 300 and Watchmen . Expect more of the same: slo-mo ultra-violence and fetishised flesh.
Defining Feature: What we've seen so far looks like a cross between Girl, Interrupted , Sin City and the wildest fantasies of a fourteen-year-old boy. Sounds ace, right?
World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles (25th March)
The Talent: Jonathan Liebesman (director), Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez.
The Pitch: Aliens have invaded the world. L.A. provides a crucial battlefield. What more do you need to know?
The Hook: The post- District 9 landscape, all crunchy sci-fi against real-world backdrops, is shaping up nicely, with Liebesman's film following hot on the heels of Skyline . However, that might not be a coincidence...
Defining Feature: This could be well be Hollywood's real-life The Social Network . Skyline directors The Strause Brothers were supposed to be working on World Invasion ,before breaking away to make their own film. Sony's basically accusing them of doing a Zuckerberg, which means we'll probably be watching the Making Of in a few years.
Hanna (8th April)
The Talent: Joe Wright (director), Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett.
The Pitch: Hanna (Ronan) is a teenage girl, trained into a kick-ass assassin by her ex-spook dad (Bana) and sent on a mission where she faces off against mysterious baddie Blanchett.
The Hook: Kick-Ass meets Bourne , as hazardous Hanna travels across Europe dispatching justice. Serious-minded Wright ( Atonement , The Soloist ) should stop this being a knock-off, though, especially with the increasingly impressive Ronan playing rogue.
Defining Feature: Wright and Ronan reteaming after Atonement , in a vastly different genre, could be the start of a formidable director/actress combo.
The Thing (22nd April)
The Talent: Matthis van Heijningen, Jr (director), Mary Elizabeth Wanstead, Joel Edgerton.
The Pitch: Not, we repeat, not a remake, but a prequel of John Carpenter's classic 1982 sci-fi/horror shapeshifter. Which, incidentally, was a remake.
The Hook: No midchlorian-style retconning here. Based on a story by Battlestar Galactica head honcho Ronald Moore, Heijningen's film charts the immediate events leading up to Carpenter's film, as we find out what happened to those Norwegians at the South Pole.
Defining Feature: This one's gonna stand or fall on emulating the mid-bendingly grisly practical FX of Carpenter's film, and reports are coming in that the producers realise the value of keeping CGI to a minimum - so, hopefully no American Werewolf in Paris , then.
Thor (29th April)
The Talent: Kenneth Branagh (director), Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins
The Pitch: In Norse mythology, Thor is a god. In Marvel mythology, he's as good as - an extra-terrestrial superhero banished to Earth and protecting against an invasion of his species.
The Hook: The first of the summer's two major Marvel movies, as the cogs fall into place for 2012's The Avengers . Branagh is an arrestingly leftfield choice for a summer blockbuster, but his name has undoubtedly attracted some heavyweight actors. But all eyes are on Hemsworth, Kirk's Dad in Star Trek .
Defining Feature: Thor is relatively unknown to non-comic book geeks, so this is the first true test of Marvel's ambitious plans for their brand.
Scream 4 (April, USA)
The Talent: Wes Craven (director), Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts.
The Pitch: A decade on, and ol' Ghostface is back. So are Sidney, Gale and Dewey, but a new generation led by Sidney's cousin (Roberts) brings new rules.
The Hook: With Craven directing and Kevin Williamson writing, it's a proper reunion that keeps cash-in fears at bay. The big question is how the film will adjust to a vastly changed horror landscape. Two words: torture porn.
Defining Feature: This is the first of several fourth-quels to hit multiplexes, so there's a lot riding on it. But after remakes of most of Craven's back catalogue, it's nice to see the master back in the saddle.
Born To Be A Star (13th May)
The Talent: Tom Brady (director), Nick Swardson, Christina Ricci, Stephen Dorff.
The Pitch: Swardson is a geek who discovers his parents were Dirk Diggler-era porn stars, and decides to join the family business.
The Hook: Boogie Nights : the sequel? Intriguingly, the producer/star is none other than ex-PTA collaborator Adam Sandler, although given that Dorff's character is called Dick Shadow, we're thinking it'll be more Little Nicky than Punch-Drunk Love .
Defining Feature: Anything we say about "defining features" at this point would be innuendo.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (18th May)
The Talent: Rob Marshall (director), Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane.
The Pitch: Having jettisoned Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, Captain Jack Sparrow sets sail for new adventures with Blackbeard (McShane) and daughter Angelica (Cruz).
The Hook: Aware of the ballast that nearly brought down a franchise, Jerry Bruckheimer has let Johnny Depp loose in his franchise again. A few nods to the past aside - Rush's Barbarossa is back - this could be a fresh, confident start, with a toe-tapping director (Chicago's Marshall) and a great cast.
Defining Feature: Pure, undiluted, 100% Jack. Depp's recent arrival, in character, in an English classroom reminded us all how much he love him.
X-Men: First Class (2nd June)
The Talent: Matthew Vaughn (director), James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, January Jones.
The Pitch: Prequel alert! This is the early days of the X-Men, when bezza mates Charles Xavier (McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Fassbender) gathered together the mutants to share the love. Something tells us it doesn't work out like that.
The Hook: After the critically derided The Last Stand , and the toothless Wolverine , a lot's riding on the fifth X-Men film to restore some honour. Which is presumably why original director-turned-producer Bryan Singer has assembled such a crack squad to have a go at besting his own crew.
Defining Feature: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby always said the X-Men paralleled the story of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. This period piece mutation lets us see how close that inspiration really is.
Green Lantern (17th June)
The Talent: Martin Campbell (director), Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong, Blake Lively.
The Pitch: The DC Comic about a league of alien superheroes, the Green Lanterns, who reluctant take on their first human recruit (Reynolds) in a battle against supervillainy.
The Hook: The year's big non-Marvel superhero movie, which means it can watched and enjoyed without pass notes to other movies. Bond veteran Campbell and the ever-likeable Reynolds should ensure this steers a fine line between lightness and camp.
Defining Feature: It's the second 'Green' superhero movie of the year, after Hornet, with a key difference: Ryan Reynolds definitely isn't Seth Rogen.
Rise of The Apes (24th June)
The Talent: Rupert Wyatt (director), James Franco, Freida Pinto, Andy Serkis
The Pitch: Prequel alert! Although, potentially, that's a good thing, as nobody wants a follow-up to Tim Burton's reimaginarse. This, then, is the backstory, where we finally find out how those damn dirty apes came to power in the first place.
The Hook: Losing the thing that always made the Apes films so distinctive - the prosthetics - is risky. But if mo-cap is the way to go, then hiring 'professional monkey' Andy Serkis seems like a smart move.
Defining Feature: Rupert Wyatt impressed with The Escapist ; since nobody's expecting much from this, he might be able to sneak in the sleeper hit of the summer.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (29th June)
The Talent: Michael Bay (director), Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley, John Tuturro.
The Pitch: Robots, explosions, and LaBeouf quipping his way through the quiet bits with new love interest Huntingdon-Whiteley in tow. As for yer actual plot, rumour has it that planet-sized Decepticon Unicron (villain of Transformers: The Movie ) is back.
The Hook: Bay and LaBeouf are at great pains to distance themselves from the debacle of Revenge of the Fallen , insisting this one will be darker and more character-led. Model Huntingdon-Whiteley is an unknown quantity, although she must have done something to impress Bay when he directed her in Victoria's Secret commercials.
Defining Feature: The camerawork. Nobody is going to mistake Bay's frame-fucking frenzy for, say, Ingmar Bergman.
The Tree of Life (June, USA)
The Talent: Terence Malick (director), Brad Pitt, Sean Penn.
The Pitch: Little is known beyond vague notions that the film follows Penn's character from boyhood in the 1950s to the present day. To be honest, though, plot might not be foremost in Malick's thoughts.
The Hook: This is the infamously slow Malick's fifth feature. His first was released in 1973. Even without Pitt and Penn, many would happily watch three hours of an actual tree given Malick's spiritual style.
Defining Feature: Intrigue. This film was close to screening at the 2010 Cannes Festival. What is taking so long?
Super 8 (June, USA)
The Talent: J. J. Abrams (director), Steven Spielberg (producer), Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler
The Pitch: Nobody's telling. But we had a go at guessing anyway .
The Hook: A one-off collaboration between Abrams and his hero Steven Spielberg, who's producing, Abrams has promised a homage to the Beard's peak-period classics.
Defining Feature: A big-budget baton pass from master to apprentice, which confirms that Abrams is currently the man to beat in the sci-fi blockbuster stakes.
On The Road (June, Estimated)
The Talent: Walter Salles (director), Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart.
The Pitch: Adaptation of Jack Kerouac's classic Beat novel, the story of a 50s teenager Sal Paradise who hooks up with free-spirit Dean Moriarty on a cross-country, counter-cultural road trip.
The Hook: One of the great unfilmed novels, Salles (no stranger to road movies after The Motorcycle Diaries ) reckons he's cracked it, partly by retracing the book's actual journey in companion piece documentary, Searching For On the Road .
Defining Feature: After Howl 's entree, this is the main event for 2011's Beat revival, although it's also a major test acting-wise for its young leads.
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (15th July)
The Talent: David Yates (director), Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint.
The Pitch: You know that film you saw over the weekend that seemed to stop halfway through? This is the second half.
The Hook: The final - we think - Harry Potter movie, this is the ultimate fangasm after a decade of box-office breaking and cultural colonisation. We'll miss Harry, Hermione and Ron when they're gone.
Defining Feature: The reason for the two-film split. The Battle of Hogwarts. It's going to be epic.
Cars 2 (22nd July)
The Talent: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis (directors), Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine.
The Pitch: Sequel to Pixar's petrolhead money-spinner, in which Lightning McQueen (Wilson) and dim-witted buddy Mater (Larry) head to Europe for Grand Prix racing only to get involved in James Bond-style spy shenanigans.
The Hook: Surprised that Cars is the second Pixar film to get a sequel? It might remain the unloved sibling of the Pixar family amongst snooty film critics, but it's a favourite with kids. This one's for them.
Defining Feature: The much cherished pre-feature short is rumoured to be a Toy Story spin-off.
Captain America: The First Avenger (29th July)
The Talent: Joe Johnston (director), Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell.
The Pitch: Wartime superhero hi-jinks as no-hoper Steve Rogers is pimped up by the U.S. military into Nazi-beating Captain America.
The Hook: The second of Marvel's big 2011 releases, with a more iconic character and a retro setting that screams Indiana Jones. Evans, no slouch at superheroism after Fantastic Four , should be an appealing lead, too.
Defining Feature: The 'First' in the title. By the time Cap debuts in cinemas, we'll have a good idea of how this whole Avengers concept is playing to the punters.
Cowboys & Aliens (12th August)
The Talent: Jon Favreau (director), Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde.
The Pitch: Drifer Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) has to team up with a ruthless Wild West town leader (Ford) when aliens invade.
The Hook: You didn't read the title? Westerns and sci-fi movies account for... oh, about 50% of all great films ever made, so this one's got a massive advantage as long as it isn't Wild Wild West all over again.
Defining Feature: James Bond versus Indiana Jones would be a strong enough pitch even without adding aliens into the mix. Sold.
Conan (19th August)
The Talent: Marcus Nispel (director), Jason Momoa, Rose McGowan, Stephen Lang.
The Pitch: New adaptation of the classic Robert E. Howard stories, or a remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Either way, Conan's a Barbarian out for revenge. Limbs will be lopped.
The Hook: In a summer dominated by sci-fi, Conan is likely to be a rare blast of old-school R-rated butchery, especially with remake specialist Nispel (who already has The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday The 13th ) under his belt. We don't really know much about Momoa but then Schwarzenegger was hardly a household name.
Defining Feature: Bloody battle scenes, although we're also quite looking forward to seeing Momoa go on Conan O'Brien's U.S. chat show. Meanwhile, here's Jason Momoa...
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (16th September)
The Talent: Tomas Alfredson (director), Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hardy.
The Pitch: John Le Carre's classic, already adapted into a revered BBC series starring Alec Guinness, about retired spymaster George Smiley, brought back to hunt down a Soviet mole in MI5.
The Hook: Whatever Alfredson chose as his follow-up to Let The Right One In would attract interest. The fact he's opted for Le Carre's slinky, smart thriller, and attracted an outstanding cast of British thesps, is icing on a considerably tasty cake.
Defining Feature: It's been ages since Oldman had a meaty starring role, but stepping into Guinness' shoes secures his rep as one of our finest actors.
Real Steel (7th October)
The Talent: Shawn Levy (director), Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly.
The Pitch: A Richard Matheson story, once filmed as a Twilight Zone episode, about a world where robots have replaced humans as boxing ring heroes. Ex-fighter Jackman hopes for one last shot at redemption by building, and training, a synthetic champion.
The Hook: Rocky with robots? This could well be the hybrid sci-fi/boxing movie of our dreams, especially with Sugar Ray Leonard advising the FX team of busting great moves with a steel fist.
Defining Feature: Seeing mo-capped robo-warriors slugging it out promises a more graceful take on Transformers .
Contagion (21st October)
The Talent: Steven Soderbergh (director), Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow.
The Pitch: An outbreak of a deadly disease sends a team of scientists on a deadly mission to contain it.
The Hook: Categorically not a remake of Wolfgang Petersen's Outbreak , instead this is Soderbergh flexing his mainstream muscles, backed by an exceptional cast that bizarrely reunites all three stars of The Talented Mr Ripley .
Defining Feature: Now free from the Ocean's films, Soderbergh's popcorn sensibilities could well have an outlet that returns him to his Out of Sight / Traffic glory days.
The Adventures Of Tin Tin: Secret Of The Unicorn (26th October)
The Talent: Steven Spielberg (director), Peter Jackson (producer), Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost.
The Pitch: The first of a mooted trilogy of films based on Herge's classic cartoon adventures about a Belgian boy adventurer and his dog.
The Hook: A powerhouse creative combo of Spielberg and Jackson, the Beard's first digitally-shot, mo-capped, 3D movie, a script by Doctor Who maestro Steven Moffat. Take your pick.
Defining Feature: ...After all we said above, though, nothing trumps the fact that it's Tin Tin .
Immortals (11th November)
The Talent: Tarsem Singh (director), Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, Mickey Rourke.
The Pitch: Greek chic, as Theseus (Cavill) faces off against King Hyperion (Rourke) with an army of gods.
The Hook: Anybody who saw music video whiz Tarsem's last film, The Fall , should know what to expect: absolutely glorious visuals. It might even, finally, make Henry Cavill famous for a role that he did play, after missing out on Superman and James Bond.
Defining Feature: Tarsem's promising something closer to Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet than 300 . Either way, it'll look stunning.
Sherlock Holmes 2 (16th December)
The Talent: Guy Ritchie (director), Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry.
The Pitch: RDJ's fighting Holmes and sidekick Watson (Law) are back, this time properly facing the threat of Holmes' famous foe, Professor Moriarty (Harris).
The Hook: A no-brainer after Ritchie's light-footed buddy-romp caught everybody by surprise, this should hopefully cleave to the first movie's love of old-school fun and the rediscovery of Ritchie's mojo.
Defining Feature: Even a cameo from Stephen Fry as Sherlock's brother Mycroft can't displace the pleasures of RDJ and Law's banter.
Mission: Impossible 4 (16th December)
The Talent: Brad Bird (director), Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner.
The Pitch: Your mission, should you decide to accept it, blah blah, should you or any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions, blah blah, This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Ethan.
The Hook: As ever, the appeal is less Cruise the star than Cruise the producer, who surprises with his directorial hirings every time. Pixar master Bird, in his first live-action movie, is about as exciting a choice as possible.
Defining Feature: The M:I films have become a kind of auteur's Bond series, and the joy will be seeing what new tricks Bird can bring to the formula.
We Bought A Zoo (23rd December)
The Talent: Cameron Crowe (director), Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church.
The Pitch: The true life tale of eccentric American Benjamin Mee, whose family purchased the titular animal house in the English countryside.
The Hook: What sounds like prime material for Wes Anderson instead becomes a suitably bittersweet vehicle for the long-absent Crowe, as well as lots of actors and animals.
Defining Feature: The return of Crowe. How will his old-school charm play in today's wham-bam culture?
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (26th December)
The Talent: David Fincher (director), Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig
The Pitch: Only just seen the Swedish movies of Stieg Larsson's best-selling Millennium trilogy? Here's your chance to watch them again in English.
The Hook: The usual complaints about Hollywoodising the hits of World Cinema may not apply here. David Fincher's no slouch, and after every actress in Hollywood was seemingly linked with the lead role of Lisbeth Salander, he outfoxed everyone by casting Social Network actress Rooney Mara.
Defining Feature: Noomi Rapace made such a splash in the original movies that she's headed for Hollywood herself, via Sherlock Holmes 2 and - allegedly - Ridley Scott's Alien prequels. No pressure then, Rooney.
War Horse (28th Dec, US)
The Talent: Steven Spielberg (director), David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Watson
The Pitch: Originally a novel about a horse forced to participate in World War 1, the story was adapted for the stage - using a life-sized puppet for the horse - to become the most successful play in the history of the National Theatre. It's still playing.
The Hook: This is the serious half, alongside The Adventures of Tintin , of one of Spielberg's famous two-for-one deals. Since the same type of doubling-up once produced Jurassic Park and Schindler's List , there's precedent for both being excellent.
Defining Feature: The horse. Presumably Spielberg won't be using stagecraft to recreate the weird impact of the play - or will he?
A Dangerous Method (date TBC)
The Talent: David Cronenberg (director), Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender.
The Pitch: A prestige true story, charting the turbulent relationship between Sigmund Freud (Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), as their theories of psychiatry rebound on them via femme fatale Knightley.
The Hook: Cronenberg doing a true story? Ah, but this one's about the murky things going on at the back of people's minds and, as such, is perfect for cinema's own clinician of all things crazy. It's almost a Cronenberg origin myth.
Defining Feature: Cronenberg's third collaboration with Mortensen on a row seals the deal: these two are made for each other.
Hesher (date TBC)
The Talent: Spencer Susser (director), Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman
The Pitch: Things are bad enough when a lonely teenager is forced to live with his grandmother. But then local, lank-haired weirdo Hesher (Gordon-Levitt) shows up.
The Hook: A typically darkly comic Sundance hit in early 2010, this still hasn't found a definite release despite JGL's barnstorming lead and able support from Portman, who also produces.
Defining Feature: Gordon-Levitt continues to have one of the most interesting careers in Hollywood. As does, incidentally, Portman.
Red Tails (date TBC)
The Talent: Anthony Hemmingway (director), George Lucas (exec producer), Cuba Gooding Jr, Terence Howard
The Pitch: Another true story, this time the Tuskegee Airmen: the first African-American fighter pilots to fly for the U.S. Air Force during WWII.
The Hook: Lucas hasn't done a non- Star Wars , non-Indy film for years. Better still, he's handed directorial reins to Hemmingway, who has worked on pretty much every U.S. drama of note over the past five years.
Defining Feature: It sounds exactly like the sort of thing that wins Oscars. If it's any good, Lucas is overdue a Best Picture gong by three decades.
The Rum Diary (date TBC)
The Talent: Bruce Robinson (director), Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Amber Heard
The Pitch: Hunter S. Thompson's semi-autobiographical novel, unpublished for decades, about a freelance journalist going off the rails in Puerto Rico.
The Hook: Anybody who saw Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas knows that Depp does a mean Hunter Thompson. That he's doing it with Withnail and I legend Robinson makes this return match all the more exciting.
Defining Feature: Ordinarily, Depp doing Thompson again would be the big draw, but Robinson's return after a long absence trumps it.