It may seem a little soon to start looking ahead to some of the big movies for next holiday season.
Especially since several of last year’s high-profile holiday releases — “Her,” “Lone Survivor,” “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “August: Osage County” — haven’t opened yet in parts of the country.
But this time of year is all about gazing into the future. (The fact that this happens to be a painfully slow week at the movies doesn’t hurt.)
So, with both of those factors in mind, here’s a rundown of some of what’s in store at multiplexes in 2014.
And, as always, not only are release dates subject to change, many of them will.
Mark Wahlberg replaces Shia LaBeouf in “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (June 27). Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) takes over for King Leonidas in “300: Rise of an Empire” (March 7). And Chris Pine stands in for Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck in “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” (Jan. 17).
Superheroes swing back into action in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (May 2), “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (April 4) and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (May 23).
Don’t hold out hope for Channing Tatum, but other cast members from previous installments dance their way to Las Vegas for “Step Up: All In” (July 25).
Other notable sequels include the comedies “A Haunted House 2” (March 28), “22 Jump Street” (June 13), “Think Like a Man Too” (June 20), “Dumb and Dumber To” (Nov. 14) and “Horrible Bosses 2” (Nov. 26); the family films “Muppets Most Wanted” (March 21), “Rio 2” (April 11), “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (June 13), “Planes: Fire & Rescue” (July 18) and “Night at the Museum 3” (Dec. 25); and the action-packed “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (July 11), “The Expendables 3” (Aug. 15), “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” (Nov. 21) and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” (Dec. 17).
Valentine’s Day offers new spins on “About Last Night” and “Endless Love.”
“Godzilla” (May 16) and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (Aug. 8) prove it’s not easy being green.
Denzel Washington replaces Edward Woodward in “The Equalizer” (Sept. 26), while Joel Kinnaman steps into the heavy, metal shoes of “Robocop” (Feb. 12).
Producer Jay Z goes back to the “Hard Knock Life” well with “Annie” (Dec. 19), starring “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis. And producer Sam Raimi looks to scare up interest in a new “Poltergeist” (to be announced).
Writer-director George Clooney leads a platoon of museum directors and art historians into Nazi Germany to save priceless artifacts in “The Monuments Men” (Feb. 7), while his buddy Brad Pitt leads a Sherman tank and its crew into Nazi Germany in an as-yet-untitled drama (Nov. 14).
If it’s February, Liam Neeson must be kicking butt somewhere; this year, it’s on a trans-Atlantic flight in “Non-Stop” (Feb. 28).
Tatum and Mila Kunis lead the cast of Lana and Andy Wachowski’s sci-fi adventure “Jupiter Ascending” (July 25). “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul brings the series of video games to life in “Need for Speed” (March 14). Kevin Costner is a spy who must complete one last mission before reconnecting with his daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) in “3 Days to Kill” (Feb. 21).
And, while it sure sounds like a soap opera, “Edge of Tomorrow” (June 6) focuses on an untested military officer (Tom Cruise) who’s killed in combat and stuck reliving the same battle again and again in a time loop.
“The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates” co-stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reunite for “Blended” (May 23), about two single parents and their kids who are forced to share a suite during a weeklong African safari. In another highly improbable living situation, a young couple (Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne) are stuck next door to a fraternity house in “Neighbors” (May 9).
Cameron Diaz teams with Leslie Mann and Kate Upton to get revenge on the man who’s cheated on all three of them in “The Other Woman” (April 25), then she tries to retrieve a three-hour romantic recording she made with Jason Segel in “Sex Tape” (July 25).
Bill Murray reteams with Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman for Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (TBA-March), and he’s joined by Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts and Chris O’Dowd in the misanthropic “St. Vincent” (TBA).
“New Girl” co-stars Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson are mistaken for police officers when they dress like them for a costume party in “Let’s Be Cops” (TBA). And a high-school security guard (Kevin Hart) gets more than he bargained for when he joins his girlfriend’s cop brother (Ice Cube) for a “Ride Along” (Jan. 17).
Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan star in the sex comedy “That Awkward Moment” (Jan. 31), while, after a one-night-stand, Elizabeth Banks takes the “Walk of Shame” (March 14).
Writer-director Seth MacFarlane portrays a cowardly sheep farmer in “A Million Ways to Die in the West” (May 30). Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco party their way through Europe in “Business or Pleasure” (Oct. 24). And, when they land an interview with Kim Jong Un, a talk show host (James Franco) and his producer (Seth Rogen) are tasked by the CIA with assassinating him in “The Interview” (Oct. 10).
Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Banks and Will Arnett lend their voices to “The LEGO Movie” (Feb. 7), and Arnett voices a squirrel who schemes to knock over a nut store in “The Nut Job” (Jan. 17).
Nature documentaries shine a light on animals big and small with Disneynature’s “Bears” (April 18) and the IMAX 3-D tale “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” (April 4).
Dorothy (voiced by Lea Michele) returns to that merry old land in the animated “Legends of Oz” (May 9), based on Roger Stanton Baum’s book “Dorothy of Oz.”
Angelina Jolie stars as the classic “Sleeping Beauty” villain in the origin tale “Maleficent” (May 30). A genius dog (voiced by Ty Burrell) and his boy travel through time in “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” (March 7). An 11-year-old experiences a disastrous 24 hours in “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” (Oct. 10). And a human girl (voiced by Rihanna) and an alien named Oh (Jim Parsons) run for their lives in “Home” (Nov. 26).
It’s a double dose of found-footage fright with “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” (Friday) and “Paranormal Activity 5” (Oct. 24).
Student activists travel to the Amazon, where they’re kidnapped by the cannibals they’re trying to save, in Eli Roth’s “The Green Inferno” (Sept. 5). Newlyweds (Allison Miller, Zach Gilford) learn there’s more to their pregnancy than they expected in “The Devil’s Due” (Jan. 17). A cop (Eric Bana) and a priest (Edgar Ramirez) battle demons in New York in “Deliver Us From Evil” (July 2). A physics professor (Jared Harris) assembles a team to create a poltergeist in “The Quiet Ones” (April 25).
And old-school scarers return in “I, Frankenstein” (Jan. 24) and “Dracula Untold” (Oct. 17).
Marvel takes some relatively big chances with the animated “Big Hero 6” (Nov. 7) and “Guardians of the Galaxy” (Aug. 1), featuring Bradley Cooper voicing a raccoon and Vin Diesel playing a tree.
Shailene Woodley stars in “Divergent” (March 21), the first in a trilogy about a futuristic world where people are split into factions based on their personalities, and “The Fault in Our Stars” (June 6), about young lovers who meet in a cancer support group.
Teen girls are confined to a supernatural boarding school in “Vampire Academy” (Feb. 14), and teen boys are confined to a labyrinth in “The Maze Runner” (Sept. 19).
David Fincher directs Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in the thriller “Gone Girl” (Oct. 3). Jolie directs “Unbroken” (Dec. 25), based on the biography of Olympic runner and prisoner of war Louis Zamperini.
Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda portray combative family members in the dramatic comedy “This Is Where I Leave You” (Sept. 12). Greg Kinnear stars as a father whose son says he visited the afterlife during a near-death experience in “Heaven Is for Real” (April 16). A boy’s (Brenton Thwaites) seemingly idyllic life takes a dark turn in “The Giver” (Aug. 15). And Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp lead the cast of the fairy-tale musical “Into the Woods” (Dec. 25).
SWORDS AND/OR SANDALS
Roma Downey and Mark Burnett are behind the biblical epic “Son of God” (Feb. 28). Russell Crowe builds a really big boat in “Noah” (March 28). And Christian Bale is Moses to Joel Edgerton’s Pharaoh Ramses in Ridley Scott’s “Exodus” (Dec. 12).
Dwayne Johnson stars as the mythical strongman in “Hercules” (July 25), which shouldn’t be confused with “The Legend of Hercules” (Jan. 10), starring “Twilight’s” Kellan Lutz.
And a gladiator (Kit Harington) races to save his lover before Mount Vesuvius erupts in “Pompeii” (Feb 21).
Nicole Kidman is Grace Kelly in “Grace of Monaco” (TBA), while “42’s” Chadwick Boseman is James Brown in “Get On Up” (Aug. 1).
Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway star in Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” (Nov. 7), about a group of astronauts who travel through a wormhole to try to save a ruined Earth.
Depp is an artificial-intelligence expert on a quest for power in “Transcendence” (April 18). A big-city lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) returns to his small hometown to look for answers when his estranged father (Robert Duvall) is accused of murder in “The Judge” (Oct. 10). A single mother (Kate Winslet) provides shelter for an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) during a holiday weekend in “Labor Day” (Jan. 31). And Kevin Costner tries to make the Cleveland Browns relevant in “Draft Day” (April 11).
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Christopher Lawrence reviews movies for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Contact him at CLawrence@reviewjournal.com