Though every fan will hate to admit it, the thought of what will become of the cinematic universe post-Lord of the Rings has at one time or another crept into the mind of many a hardcore fan ever since The Two Towers credits began to roll and we collectively realised that we only had one more film between us and the world after The Lord of the Rings. Hence, just like last year, we at TOR.n have decided to turn our attention to next year’s cinematic line-up and see what the cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings have in store for us in 2004.

50 First Dates50 First Dates

USA: February 13th – UK: May 7th – – Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Sean Astin, Rob Schneider

A story best described as what happens when a rom-com meets Groundhog Day, 50 First Dates sees Adam Sandler as the guy unlucky enough to fall in love with a girl who suffers from short-term memory loss and as a result must woo her over on a day to day basis. With Sandler riding high last year on the successes of Punch Drunk Love and Anger Management, critical and box-office respectively, could Sandler make it a hat-trick of hits? More importantly, can Sean Astin pull off some laughs with a script that contains not one reference to him as ‘the fat Hobbit’.

The AviatorThe Aviator

Worldwide: December 2004 – WBMovies.comIMDb – Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, Sir Ian Holm

If one were to look at the list of movies for the coming year and had to pick candidates for the Best Picture Oscar at the 2005 awards, it would be hard to look past Martin Scorsese’s bio-pic of entrepeneur Howard Hughes. Beginning with Hughes’ life in the early 1930s and concluding with the test run of the Spruce Moose in 1947, the film portrays both Hughes many and varied business ventures his many and varied romances, with celebrities such as Cate Blanchett’s Katherine Hepburn and Kate Beckinsale’s Ava Gardner. With an ensemble cast so stellar it has to be seen to be believed and a director who has so far been criminally ignored by the Academy, this film’s future looks blindingly bright.

The Bourne SupremacyThe Bourne Supremacy

USA: July 23rd – UK: September 3rd – UniversalPictures.comIMDb – Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Joan Allen, Karl Urban

After the success of the first installment, Matt Damon returns to reprise his role as Jason Bourne, the CIA operative who comes to terms with his past life as a trained assassin for the US government after he regains from his temporary amnesia. The second installment in the series sees Bourne’s life once again in danger as the Chinese government believe him to be the man behind the assassination of the Vice-Premier. Bourne soon finds himself in a race against time to prove his innocence and find the actual assassin who is killing using his identity – played by Karl Urban.

The Chronicles of RiddickPitch Black 2

USA: June 11th – UK: August 20th – PitchBlack.comIMDb – Vin Diesel, Dame Judi Dench, Colm Feore, Karl Urban

When Pitch Black completely snuck under the radar in 2000 and proved itself to be one of the best science fiction movies of 2000, it instantly gained cult status and a devout following. On that basis, Vin Diesel returns to star as the surgically enhanced anti-hero Riddick, in what will now be the second in a four-part saga. Based five years after the events of Pitch Black, Riddick not only has to contend with being once again on the run from the law but inadvertantly finds himself embroiled in the middle of a Galactic war between two rival factions, with Karl Urban featuring somewhere in all the chaos.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless MindEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

US: March 19th (Limited) – FocusFeatures.comIMDb – Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood

The latest masterpiece from the desk of Charlie Kauffman, who cemented his reputation as one of the finest screenwriters in Hollywood with recent efforts Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Adaptation, which was frankly robbed of the Best Original Screenplay Oscar at the Academy Awards. Focusing, on a man (Carrey), who after discovering his ex-girlfriend (Winslet) had all memory of him wiped from her mind, decides to undergo the same procedure, the movie is as intricate as you would expect from a Kauffman script, with the narrative constantly jumping from one timeline to another. With a quality cast, including Elijah Wood in his first role after Mr.Frodo as the memory-wiping scientist, ‘Sunshine looks certain to be a fantastic film, but can Carrey & Winslet bring Kauffman into the mainstream?

Check back tomorrow to see the second half of the must-see list, including Viggo Mortensen riding horses in Hidalgo, Sean Bean and Orlando Bloom doing battle in Troy and David Wenham fighting evil in Van Helsing. Nice to see the cast branching out after The Lord of the Rings, isn’t it?