What the most exciting movie of 2013 will be depends on whom you ask.

If you're Joe Patrick of Omaha the buzz is all about “Iron Man 3,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Man of Steel,” “The Wolverine” and “Thor: The Dark World.” “Every minute of new footage of 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' I have to look at it,” said Patrick, manager at Legend Comics & Coffee, 52nd and Leavenworth Streets. “I'm obsessed, because the startup movie ('Star Trek,' 2009) was so strong. 'Iron Man 3' looks decent, and I'm becoming more excited for 'Man of Steel.'”

“Man of Steel” is the latest Superman movie, and this one promises to be darker than the previous installments.

Gary Wasdin, executive director of the Omaha Public Library has a list of must-sees that includes movies adapted from literature, “The Great Gatsby,” “Oz: the Great and Powerful” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

Meanwhile, Diana Abbott, manager of The Bookworm bookstore in Countryside Village shopping center, anticipates lots of interest in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Monuments Men” and “Jack Ryan,” which is based on a character by author Tom Clancy.

“'The Monuments Men' is a very popular book here,” she said. The store has sold more than 110 copies. “I'm impressed they can turn that into a film.”

The World War II-era movie, directed by George Clooney, is about recovering great artworks confiscated by the Nazis.

Oscar watchers looking ahead a full year are also curious about “The Monuments Men,” along with Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks,” a movie about getting “Mary Poppins” made.

Abbott shares their curiosity.

“People have a fascination with backstories like that. It gives more complexity to historical figures.”

Other films with Oscar potential include “Captain Phillips,” which has Tom Hanks as skipper of a cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates, and Alexander Payne's black-and-white “Nebraska,” about a father-son road trip.

Parents with small children, including Brandon Fiscus and Paula Baggiani, are looking forward to “Monsters University,” a prequel to the 2001 Pixar animated classic “Monsters, Inc.”

Other animated offerings include “Frozen,” Disney's take on Hans Christian Andersen's story “The Snow Queen,” sequels to “Despicable Me” and “The Smurfs” and the 3-D re-release of “The Little Mermaid.”

Comedy lovers can't wait for “The Hangover Part III,” Adam Sandler's “Grownups 2,” Tyler Perry's “Temptation” and Will Ferrell in “Anchorman: The Legend Continues.”

Action fans may lean toward Bruce Willis in “A Good Day to Die Hard,” monsters fighting cyborgs in “Pacific Rim,” the G.I. Joe sequel “Retaliation,” exploits of “The Lone Ranger” and Neil Blomkamp's sci-fi thriller “Elysium” — plus all those comic-book heroes.

And lovers of 3-D are anticipating re-releases of not only “The Little Mermaid” but “Top Gun,” “Jurassic Park,” “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” and “StarWars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.”

Here's a more comprehensive look at the major films schedule to hit theaters in 2013. Opening dates could change.


“Iron Man 3,” May 3. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) goes up against a powerful enemy, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). Comic book legend Stan Lee has a rumored cameo.

“Star Trek Into Darkness,” May 17. J.J. Abrams again directs Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock in this hunt for a one-man weapon of mass destruction.

“Man of Steel,” June 14. “300” director Zack Snyder casts Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman in this origins reboot. Amy Adams is Lois Lane, and Russell Crowe is Superman's dad.

“The Wolverine,” July 26. The angry X-man (Hugh Jackman) goes to Japan to train with a samurai. James Mangold (“Walk the Line”) directs. Will Yun Lee co-stars.

“Thor: The Dark World,” Nov. 8. Chris Hemsworth returns as the guy with the hammer. Christopher Eccleston is his new nemesis, Malekith. Alan Taylor (HBO's “The Sopranos”) steps into the director's chair.


“Oz: The Great and Powerful,” March 8. James Franco is the wizard in this backstory to L. Frank Baum's series. Thrown into a fantasy world, Franco's character, magician Oscar Diggs, becomes a mythic figure. Sam Raimi (Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” trilogy) directs. Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz are witches.

“The Great Gatsby,” May 10. Leonardo DiCaprio is Gatsby, Carey Mulligan is Daisy and Tobey Maguire is Nick in this sixth adaptation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Baz Luhrman (“Moulin Rouge”) directs.

“World War Z,” June 21. Max Brooks' novel comes to the screen, starring Brad Pitt as a U.N. employee racing against time to stop a zombie outbreak. Marc Forster (“Finding Neverland,” “Quantum of Solace”) directs.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” Nov. 22. The second of four installments keeps stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Philip Seymour Hoffman joins as Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker of the 75th Hunger Games.

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Dec. 13. The first of three sequels finds Bilbo (Martin Freeman) confronting dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), with the help of Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and Thorin (Richard Armitage).

“Jack Ryan,” Dec. 25. Kenneth Branagh (“Henry V”) directs Chris Pine as the iconic intelligence analyst from Tom Clancy's novels. This one's about a Russian terror plot to crash the economy.


“Epic,” May 24. Forces of good and evil battle in a forest where a teen must join forces with a ragtag band of new friends to save the world. Voices of Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz and Beyonce.

“Monsters University,” June 21. This animated Pixar prequel finds Mike and Sulley as students at the University of Fear, where they were not buddies. Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi return as voice talent.

“Despicable Me 2,” July 3. A sequel to the 2010 animated hit adds voice talent from Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand and Steve Coogan, in addition to the returning Steve Carell as morose Gru.

“The Smurfs 2,” July 31. Gargamel (voice of Hank Azaria) has kidnapped Smurfette, who knows a spell that can turn his evil Naughties into real Smurfs. Neil Patrick Harris returns as a human friend to the Smurfs.

“Frozen,” Nov. 27. Disney has been working a long time on this story based on Hans Christian Andersen's fable “The Snow Queen.” Young Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) and a mountaineer seek to end the kingdom's perpetual winter. Idina Menzel voices the Snow Queen.


“Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” March 29. A counselor's life turns chaotic when she becomes involved with one of her patients. Vanessa Williams and Kim Kardashian appear.

“The Heat,” April 5. Forced to partner, uptight FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) and testy Boston cop Shannon Mullens (Melissa McCarthy), are after a drug lord.

“The Hangover Part III,” May 24. This one's all about Zach Galifianakis' character, Alan, as the old gang again hits the road. Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms and Ken Jeong (Mr. Chow) return.

“Grown Ups 2,” July 12. Lenny (Adam Sandler) moves his family back to his hometown, where he and his friends learn a few things from their kids on the last day of school. Kevin James, Chris Rock and Andy Samberg co-star.

“Anchorman: The Legend Continues,” Dec. 20. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), San Diego's top-rated TV news anchorman, is back, joined by his Channel 4 news team, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell and David Koechner.

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” Dec. 25. Ben Stiller directs and stars as the famed James Thurber character, who daydreams his way through life. Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kristen Wiig and Patton Oswalt appear.


“Captain Phillips,” Oct. 11. Hanks plays the skipper of an American cargo ship seized by Somali pirates. Based on a true story.

“The Monuments Men,” Dec. 18. George Clooney and screenwriter Grant Heslov (“Good Night and Good Luck,” “The Ides of March”) team again on this WWII-era story of recovering works of art hidden by the Nazis. Clooney directs and stars, alongside Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett.

“Saving Mr. Banks,” Dec. 20. Tom Hanks stars as Walt Disney in the story of bringing “Mary Poppins” to the screen. Emma Thompson plays protective “Poppins” author P.L. Travers.

“Parkland,” TBA. The story of what happened at Parkland Hospital in Dallas on the day JFK was assassinated. The cast includes Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver and Zac Efron.

“Nebraska,” TBA. Omaha director Alexander Payne hasn't made a movie that failed to get an Oscar nomination since his first, “Citizen Ruth,” in 1996. This father-son road trip starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte is Payne's sixth film, his first in black and white.


“A Good Day to Die Hard,” Feb. 14. Bruce Willis returns as hardheaded cop John McClane, who travels to Russia to help son Jack (Jai Courtney). He doesn't realize Jack is an undercover CIA agent, working on a nuclear-arms heist case.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” March 29. Channing Tatum's 2012 hot streak meant reshoots to expand his character in this sequel about battling evil Cobra, along with government budget cuts. Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis appear.

“The Fast & The Furious 6,” May 24. Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson headline the latest sequel about cops and fast cars.

“White House Down,” June 28. Roland Emmerich (“The Day After Tomorrow”) directs Channing Tatum as a Secret Service agent battling terrorists who take over the White House. Jamie Foxx is the president.

“The Lone Ranger,” July 3. Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Carribean” trilogy) directs Johnny Depp as Tonto, who recalls how the Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) came to be.

“Pacific Rim,” July 12. Sci-fi fans can't wait for the latest from director Guillermo del Toro (“Pan's Labyrinth,” “Hellboy”). The tale pits invading aliens against giant robots. Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi star.

“Elysium,” Aug. 9. Matt Damon sports a shaved head in director-screenwriter Neill Blomkamp's sci-fi followup to “District 9.” The rich live on a man-made space station that everybody else is clamoring to get to. Jodie Foster co-stars.

--Staff writer Bob Fischbach

Contact the writer: 402-444-1269, bob.fischbach@owh.com

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