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Entertainment Weakly:

Robert Berry - 01/25/01

Why settle for easy articles about movies coming out this year?  We've got the goods on the films coming out in 2002! 
So check out our preview, and start standing in line early to see some of these great flicks.  Or at least get ready to download the bootleg versions on your computer (cause by then all modems will be super duper duper fast).


Clearly the film that will have all eyes on it is the second episode of STAR WARS.  Many fans felt let down by THE PHANTOM MENACE, which revived the long forgotten franchise with an overblown toy commercial, so hopefully more effort will be placed on a story good enough to keep this prequel trilogy interesting.  Rumor has it the 2nd film will be "darker" and less "kid friendly".  Look for Gary Coleman to show up as a young Lando Calrissian.


Everything about making BASIC INSTINCT 2 seems fishier than Sharon Stone's leg uncrossing scene in the first film.  But with David Cronenberg (THE FLY, NAKED LUNCH, RABID) at the helm, it suddenly seems interesting again.  Sharon Stone reprises her role as the icy Catherine Tramell, who is accused of murdering her husband (not Michael Douglas, who's crinkled ass will thankfully not make an appearance in this one).  A script from Henry Bean (who wrote the super underrated DEEP COVER) might help save this flick, too.

Continuing the sequel bandwagon will be TRUE LIES 2.  Though Schwarzenegger isn't officially cast yet, James Cameron is set to write and direct. Hopefully Jamie Lee Curtis will get tricked into stripping again. 

MMMMM.....T-LICIOUS (Caption stolen from a future issue of MAXIM)

Though Arnold is slated to star in TERMINATOR 3 alongside Eddie Furlong in a story that reportedly features SKYNET'S rise to power and mankind's first battles against the terminators.  Famke Jannsen is rumored to be cast as a deadly female android with special powers like invisibility, and the ability to turn into raw energy.  For a look at what might be the TERMINATOR 3 script CLICK HERE.

A script isn't finalized yet, but the 10th STAR TREK film is scheduled for a 2002 release.  Jonathan Frakes will direct, and you can expect the rest of the NEXT GENERATION cast to return in a story that reportedly involves The Romulans.  Let's hope Levar Burton wraps his long awaited READING RAINBOW THE MOTION PICTURE in time.

In other sequel news, some very high Hollywood execs seem to think the public is actually interested in seeing JUMANJI 2.

In the press release for AVATAR EXILE, it's hard to tell if it's going to be a MATRIX swipe or a legitimately cool Sci-Fi flick, but I'll let you be the judge: 

"In the near future in the Asian city-state Sintawan, everyone's identity is recorded in the vast CyberLink. The only way around this is using illegal simulated identity implants (sims). A young bounty hunter who makes her living tracking sims, finds herself the unlikely ally of a police detective who suspects the CyberLink is being perverted for an insidious and deadly purpose."

But if you want the real deal you can check out THE MATRIX 2.  Not much is known about it, but with MATRIX 3 being filmed immediately afterward, the chance for a fun cliffhanger ending is likely.  Expect tons of crazy action with Neo's new found super powers.  CLICK HERE for a pretty cool page about the whole MATRIX trilogy.

Atom Egoyan is bringing the Margaret Atwood novel THE BLIND ASSASSIN to the big screen, while Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the book turned movie CATCH ME IF YOU CAN about a con artist who takes on a handful of identities and runs up millions in fraudulent checks.


If you ever thought DiCaprio was half a man, your suspicions will be confirmed when you see JOHNNY ECK, where he plays a dual role as a unique set of twins, one which was born without the lower portion of his body  (I'm not making this up, folks).

A rare Sci-Fi treat from Steven Spielberg as he directs Tom Cruise in THE MINORITY REPORT. It's based on Phillip K. Dick's novel (who also brought you BLADERUNNER and TOTAL RECALL) about a police force that can see into the future and arrest people before they've committed the crime.  Only Cruise is nabbed for a murder he's yet to perform, and he has to unravel the mystery.

The long delayed FREDDY vs. JASON is finally on the table for next year, with a rumored 2 different ending gimmick filmgoers uncertain who's going to win in the version they see, even if they heard the ending from someone else.

Also on the horror movie front will be MACABRE, a remake of the 1958 William Castle film (13 GHOSTS, THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL), about a doctor who's daughter is buried alive and he has only 5 hours to find her before she dies.  Let's hope she's got a cell phone to help him out.  Robert Zemeckis will direct.

Look for PHANTASM'S END, a sequel to PHANTASM as well.

Terry Gilliam makes a long awaited return to directing with GOOD OMENS based on the Neil "The Sandman" Gaiman novel (co-written with Terry Pratchett).  The story involves "an angel and a demon who are sent together on a mission to track down the Antichrist, who has been lost somewhere on Earth."  They should check out Staten Island fist, I think.


Certainly one of the most anticipated movies of next year is Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN.  Just one look at the actual costume in the picture above (from shows you that they're taking it seriously.  Tobey Maguire is Spidey, Kirsten Dunst is Mary Jane Watson, and Willem Defoe plays The Green Goblin.  Also look for Randy Savage to play a wrestler, and good ol' Bruce Campbell to be the ring announcer.

Though Roger Corman's FANTASTIC FOUR film was never released (you can read Matt's take on it HERE) because it was too schlocky, the credentials for the big budget version coming out next year isn't all that inspiring, either.  Look for Raja Gosnell, the director of BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE and HOME ALONE 3 to take the helm, and original BATMAN film scribe Sam Hamm to assist with the screenwriting chores.  Hopefully the serious handling of Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN will rub off on this effort.


Other comic book inspired films include ELFQUEST and Mike Mignola's HELLBOY starring Ron Perleman in the title role.  Hellboy is a great character, about a demon who was conjured by the Nazis to aid their cause, but ends up working with the Allied forces instead.

Following up the success of CHICKEN RUN, Nick Park's Aardman Entertainment is releasing THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE featuring Michael Caine (the hare).  According to, that the film will be a claymation documentary look at the famous Aesop fable, with a bit of Spinal Tap mixed in.  I see that Wallace of WALLACE AND GROMIT has a role in the film as well, so that's always grand.

Disney seems to be continuing their tradition of crappy animated films as of late with TREASURE PLANET, which is described as a space age retelling of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic TREASURE ISLAND.  Though with Stephen Lisberger, who directed the original TRON returning to do a  TRON 2.0 for Disney, things could get interesting indeed.

Jean Giraud (better known to sci-fi comic book fans as MOEBIUS), inspires the animated film THROUGH THE MOEBIUS STRIP. Giraud also provided much of the art design for THE ABYSS (but that achievement is canceled by his art direction for the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE film.

And to round out your animation wish list, keep your fingers crossed for the long planned SIMPSONS film to finally come to life.


Martin Scorsese has a pretty cool project lined up with a Dean Martin biopic titled DINO.  Last June he told the press that he'd love Tom Hanks to play the title role (Huh?), John Travolta to play Sinatra (HUH?), and Jim Carrey as Jerry Lewis.  Unless they've got a $400 Million budget, don't expect him to land all of those guys.


Another interesting biography film will be CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND, which will be X-MEN director Brian Singer's next project.  Johnny Depp will star as GONG SHOW host Chuck Barris, and explore his fictitious claims of being a hired assassin for the CIA before becoming a game show legend.

FARGO creators Joel and Ethan Coen will direct Brad Pitt in TO THE WHITE SEA about a WW2 pilot who is shot down, and has to parachute behind enemy lines in Japan.  Details of the story are sketchy but rumors that he makes soap out of dead Japanese soldiers are hard to believe.

Well that about does it for now.  Some other films that might come out in 2002 but are way too tentative to tell as of yet include an Ang Lee directed HULK movie starring Chow Yun Fat, and Martin Lawrence as BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE 2.

Until then, remember, save the aisle seats for Matt.  I'll just wait for them to come out on DVD.


HEY, give X-E Mainstay OLD SCRATCH some scratch by checking out his songs on  You can listen to his songs for free, and he makes a dime or so in the process.  I recommend 2000 MANIACS, simply because he dares to rhyme Maggot with Bob Saget.  CLICK HERE to listen.  DO IT NOW!