Yesterday we had a look at what 2004 had in store for us in the absence of The Lord of the Rings, and focused on five of the biggest movies coming soon involving LotR cast members. Today, we round off the list with another big five and take a look at some other movies which may prove to be suprise hits next year.
From the director of Jumanji and Jurassic Park III, Viggo Mortensen once again finds himself on horseback in this true story detailing the life of Frank T. Hopkins, a courier who in 1890 travelled from the US to Saudi Arabia on his horse Hidalgo and competed in the internationally reknowned, 3000 mile-long “Ocean of Fire” race across the African desert. Disney executives believe that after The Lord of the Rings‘s success, the name ‘Viggo Mortensen’ alone should be enough to recoup the film’s $80m budget and secure a rare success for the Mouse House after a recent barren patch: we think so too.
The Life Aquatic
The next West Anderson Project, The Life Aquatic centers around Bill Murray’s oceanographer Steve Zissou and his documentary team on their quest to capture the camera-shy Jaguar shark on film. With The Royal Tenebaum‘s darkly comical take on the bizarre life of an insanely gifted family one of the cinematic highlights of 2001, the mind only boggles at what Anderson could do with a ship containing a group of oceanographers, a bank stooge, the illigetimate son of Bill Murray’s character and a heavily pregnant reporter played by Cate Blanchett.
You’d think after The Lord of the Rings the cast would be eager take a long break from swords, shields, large-scale battles and armed warfare in general. Try telling that to Orlando Bloom and Sean Bean, as the pair reunite to star in Wolfgang Petersen’s blockbuster historical epic portraying the events leading up to the Battle of Troy with Pitt starring as the great Greek general Achilles. Bloom stars as Prince of Troy who kidnaps the legendary Helen, wife of the King of Greece, and Bean as the warrior Odysseus who originated the Trojan Horse plot.
While recent franchises such as Blade and Buffy have both added an interesting new twist to the monster mythology, it’s been a while since the movie-going public have seen baddies who are more bark and bite then one-liner and witty retort. Cue Van Helsing, Hugh Jackman’s next project on the back of X-Men 2 which sees him in the title role of the expert monster hunter who travels to 19th Century Eastern Europe to lead the fight against evil. David Wenham is the friar who guides Jackman’s character through the countryside, as this gritty monster movie looks set to do some serious damage at the box office.
Not to be out-done by her Spider-Man co-star’s recent role in feel-good movie of the year Seabiscuit, Kirsten Dunst stars as the bad-girl love interest to Paul Bettany, a washed-up tennis player who looks like the end is nigh for his professional career but gives it his all in his last ever chance to win the most coveted tournament in the world of tennis: Wimbledon. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?
Other Noteworthy Projects Of 2004
Haven – Orlando Bloom is the British native who commits a crime set in motion by two businessmen (Gabriel Byrne and Bill Paxton) who flee the US for the Cayman Islands.
Jersey Girl – The last time Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez teamed up, the result was..well..horriffic frankly. Hopefully for Liv Tyler the result this time around isn’t more of the same.
National Treasure – Sean Bean goes head to head with Nicholas Cage in search of a war chest hidden by Washington, Jefferson and Franklin during the Revolutionary War.
Slipstream – A scientist plots a bank heist with his newest invention – a time travelling device. Sean Astin headlines along with footballer cum actor Vinnie Jones.
The Day After Tomorrow – Sir Ian Holm features in the latest apocalypse film, as Dennis Quaid tries to figure out a way to save the world from global warming. Jake Gyllenhall also stars.
The Great Raid – A group of US Army Rangers including Marton Csokas attempt a daring rescue mission to evacuate 500 POWs from a Japanese camp during World War II.
The Last Unicorn – The story of the last unicorn in existence who travels across the land to find the rest of her kind. With Christopher Lee adding gravitas as King Haggard.