April 29, 2013 1:13 pm

Summer Movie Preview: ‘Iron Man 3′ kicks off season of big flicks

Robert Downey Jr. returns in 'Iron Man 3.'

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TORONTO — Get ready for a summer of remakes, reboots, reissues, prequels, sequels, and adaptations.

Hollywood has lined up something for everyone this season, starting with Friday’s release of Iron Man 3 — already a blockbuster overseas.

Those with a need for speed can race to theatres for Fast and Furious 6 (May 24). Those with a need for 1D will get the One Direction 3D concert movie This Is Us (August 30). Those with a need for Canada’s Ryan Reynolds will get R.I.P.D. (July 19).

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Reynolds also lends his voice to the animated feature Turbo (July 17). Other animated flicks hoping to draw moviegoers to theatres this summer include the sequels Monsters University (June 21) and Despicable Me 2 (July 3).

Speaking of sequels, get ready for The Hangover Part III (May 24) and Grown Ups 2 (July 12).

Two made-in-Montreal sequels are opening this year: Smurfs 2 (July 31) and Red 2 (July 19).

It’s a super year for heroes. The Wolverine (July 26) has Hugh Jackman continuing his struggle to avoid scratching himself and Henry Cavill dons the tights and cape in Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel (June 14).

There are several movies coming out in 2013 with source material found in libraries and bookstores.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the titular character in The Great Gatsby (May 10), a retelling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel from director Baz Lurhmann.

There’s also a modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing (June 7) from director Joss Whedon and starring Amy Acker and Canada’s Nathan Fillion.

Less classic but still based on a book is The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (August 23). It is an adaptation of the first book in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, published in 2007. Shot in Toronto last year, it stars Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell-Bower.

Rick Riordan’s 2006 novel Sea of Monsters, part of his Percy Jackson series, comes to life in the made-in-Vancouver Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (August 7), a sequel to the 2010 The Lighting Thief starring Logan Lerman.

Here are a few more movies worth watching for this season:

Star Trek: Into Darkness – May 17

The second Star Trek flick from director J.J. Abrams (and the 12th in the franchise) comes four years after Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto took over the roles of Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock. It follows the crew of the Enterprise as they travel to a war-torn world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction. Canada’s Bruce Greenwood is Admiral Christopher Pike.

 The Lone Ranger – July 3

The iconic character who debuted on radio in 1933 rides into theatres this summer hoping to fire up a new generation of fans. Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp is his “ke-mo sah-bee” Tonto. Canada’s Barry Pepper also shows up in this reboot of the classic western tale.

This is the End – June 12

This is the End, written and directed by Canada’s Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, is about a group of celebrities trying to survive in an apocalyptic Los Angeles. Rogen stars along with fellow Canuck Jay Baruchel and a long list of stars playing themselves, including Canada’s Michael Cera as well as James Franco, Jonah Hill, Emma Watson and Rihanna.

Pacific Rim – July 12

Keeping with end-of-the-world theme, Pacific Rim is a sci-fi epic from Mexican director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) about giant robots piloted by humans that are deployed to fight off an alien attack. Starring Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day and Idris Elba, it is one of the biggest-budget movies ever made in Toronto. Yes, those fighter jets in the first scene of the trailer are flying over Elizabeth Street behind City Hall.

After Earth – May 31

In a post-apocalyptic world, “everything on Earth has evolved to kill humans” – which is bad news for General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) and his son Kitai (Jaden Smith), who find themselves stranded there. The CGI-heavy summer flick was directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

World War Z – June 21

Brad Pitt stars as a United Nations Postwar Commission researcher racing around the world in this adaptation of the 2006 post-apocalyptic novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks.

White House Down – June 28

Kick-Ass 2 – Aug. 16

It’s only fitting that two movies that were made in Canada are opening on the Canada Day long weekend.

In the action flick White House Down, shot primarily in Montreal, Channing Tatum plays a Secret Service agent forced to save the President (Jamie Foxx) when the White House is invaded by a paramilitary group.

Kick-Ass 2, shot in Toronto and Hamilton, has most of the cast of the 2010 original reprising their roles as ordinary superheroes with newcomers Jim Carrey and John Leguizamo.

The Heat – June 28

Sandra Bullock proved she could get laughs as an FBI agent in 2000’s Miss Congeniality (and its less-successful 2005 sequel) so it’s little wonder she’s playing an FBI agent in another comedy. In The Heat, Bullock is paired with a testy Boston cop, played by the hilarious Melissa McCarthy to bring down a drug lord.

© Shaw Media, 2013

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