This is the season of The Break-Up, starring Pitts ex, Jennifer Aniston, and Vince Vaughn, who fell in love playing a pair falling out, and of Mission: Impossible III, starring Cruise, whose newborn with Holmes arrived just two weeks before the movie comes to theaters.
We have to believe this was manufactured by a studio publicity machine, but one
Hollywood insider swears swears swears that Vegas oddsmakers are taking bets on whether Ron Howards The Da Vinci Code will outgross Lady in the Water, the M. Night Shyamalan mermaid story starring Bryce Dallas Howard - the daughter of Ron, who once upon a time directed a mermaid tale called Splash.
Sure, it feels a little early for summer. But summer comes earlier in Hollywood - May 5, this year. So here are our bets on 10 summer movies likely to top the charts (dates can change):
Mission: Impossible III Its not often that a sequel is superior to the original, but word is that this tense action flick from J.J. Abrams (creator of Lost) reignites the franchise and that the opening sequence, with Tom Cruise facing down villain Philip Seymour Hoffman (no special effects, just two guys in a room - imagine that), is a spine-tingler. (May 5)
The Da Vinci Code Funny hairdos (Tom Hanks) and French accents (Audrey Tautous) notwithstanding, the Hollywood adaptation of Dan Browns obscure little novel promises to attract a bigger crowd than Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Speaking of which, Leonardos famous portrait of the smiling femme is at the heart of this tale of secret sects, mystical symbolism, and revelations that could upend the papal order. Ron Howard directs an international cast in this rollicking art history adventure. (May 19)
X-Men: The Last Stand Marvel Comics band of neurotic superheroes wrestles with the usual bunch of people and politicians determined to isolate and eradicate Charles Xavier and his freakazoid clan, this time with a new kind of genetic engineering that will render the mutants unmutantlike. The trailer for The Last Stand definitely rocks, but thats what trailers are supposed to do. Bryan Singer of X-Men 1 and 2 is no longer the director (he was busy doing Superman Returns ). Instead, Brett Ratner gets the job of bossing around Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Magneto and Mystique. (May 26)
The Break-Up Just your typical boy-cohabits-with-girl, girl-ditches-boy, both-want-the-condo comedy. Starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston as the sparring pair who wonder whether their need to hold onto the real estate may reveal their need to hold onto each other. Audiences might wonder whether modern love really is about real estate. (June 2)
Cars With the voices of Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, and racing devotee Paul Newman, the latest computer-generated toon from the hit factory of Pixar ( Toy Story, Monsters, Inc ., The Incredibles ) is one of only a handful of family-friendly summer pics. Positioned to cash in on Americas love of zooming automobiles, this John Lassiter-directed tale of a supercharged sports car forced to rethink his lot in life is likely to be a lot smarter, and funnier, than NASCAR-inspired stuff like Herbie Fully Loaded. (June 9)
Superman Returns Last summer it was Batman who came back from the superhero ashram. This year its Clark Kents alter ego (Brandon Routh) who, after a six-year absence, finds that Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has moved on (can you blame her?); that Metropolis has done just fine in his absence; and that only his nemesis, Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey), missed him. Reportedly, this resurrection of the franchise by Singer ( XMen) is broodier than the Chris Reeve versions. How could it not be? (June 30)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest Is Johnny Depp morbid or what? Here are some of his movie titles: Dead Man , Corpse Bride, From Hell. But we digress . . . In Part II of the Pirates trilogy (based on a Disneyland ride and brought to gleefully scurvy life by Depp doing his best Keith Richards), Capt. Jack Sparrow returns to cross swords and wink his one good eye at comely wenches. The handsome Brits known as Orlando and Keira walk the gangplank once more, and Gore Verbinski resumes his role as director. Avast ye mateys! (July 7)
Lady in the Water M. Night Shyamalan delivers not a thriller but a "bedtime story" about an apartment super (Paul Giamatti) who hears a splash in the complexs swimming pool and finds a lovely water nymph (Bryce Dallas Howard) who bears a striking resemblance to a beloved storybook figure. (July 21)
Miami Vice Most TV-series-turned-films are thudding duds (see The Dukes of Hazzard , see Bewitched, see The MacNeil-Lehrer Report), but Michael Mann, who created the 80s cop show that made Don Johnson a star, is behind this re-do. And Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx are onboard as vice detectives James Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs. Expect car chases, gun fights, exotic beauties (Chinese star Gong Li as the wife of an arms and drugs trafficker), and loads of witty, erudite, South Beach badinage. (July 28)
World Trade Center Port Authority policemen rise from the ashes of the Twin Towers to rescue civilians from the rubble. Oliver Stones heroic account features Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena as officers John McLoughlin and William Jimeno, the last survivors extracted from ground zero, men credited with saving lives on the day so many lost theirs. (Aug. 9)