Now Playing: Anticipated Movies of 2013

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Just call it the year of the sequels. Hollywood is pulling out all the stops in 2013, which is bringing back some of the most memorable characters of our time. Here is a look at some of the most hyped films to hit the big screen in 2013.

‘The Host’
Fear not, Twi-hards, 2013 will feature another Stephenie Meyer romance novel adaptation. Instead of vampires and werewolves, prepare for alien love. “The Host” follows a girl who is able to coexist with an alien that overtakes her body. With a March 29 release date, “The Host” is on slate to have another cult following.

‘The Great Gatsby’
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tale explores the lavish yet enigmatic life of Jay Gatsby, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. This fifth on-screen adaptation brings together a stellar cast to retell the story of heartache and decadence like never before. “The Great Gatsby” kicks off the summer movie set in 3D on May 10.

‘Oz the Great and Powerful’
Somewhere over the rainbow, Dorothy was duped by the Wizard of Oz; now it’s time to hear his side of the story. James Franco plays a con-artist magician from Kansas named Oscar Diggs, whose air balloon gets engulfed by a tornado and brought to the Emerald City. As a prophecy of Oz, Oscar must deal with evil magic, unethical desires and the witches of Oz. Follow the yellow brick road this spring, “Oz” dazzles on the big screen March 8.

‘Iron Man 3’
After starring in last year’s most successful film, Robert Downey Jr. is back as Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man. As his world is destroyed by the hands of his nemesis Mandarin, Stark must battle to keep his life together while exploring the perpetually daunting question: Does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man? “Iron Man 3” will be a spectacular stress relief during finals, opening May 3.

‘This is the End’
Although the end of the world wasn’t Dec. 21, Seth Rogen sheds light on what would happen if an apocalypse hit while some of the world’s most famous stars are together. With James Franco as the host of the shindig, celebrities like Emma Watson, Jason Segel, Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd must band together to find a way to survive. “This is the End” takes over the summer on June 14.

‘Carrie’
You may think you had a bad prom experience in high school, but nothing tops Stephen King’s tale of blood-drenched telekinetic murderer Carrie White. With rising star Chloe Grace Moretz as the titular character and Julianne Moore as her fanatical mother, this revamp is projected to make your skin crawl this October.

‘Anchorman: The Legend Continues’
San Diego is about to get classy once again. Ron Burgundy is back, and it’s kind of a big deal. Little has been said regarding the plot, but in a promo released last year, it’s apparent that the gang is back and ready for business. Tune in Dec. 20.

‘Despicable Me 2’
“It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” was one of the top ring tones of 2010, as the not-so-evil villain Gru and his band of unpredictable minions took over in “Despicable Me.” The gang is back, along with the girls Gru adopts, to make us belly laugh once more. With the tag line “More minions. More despicable,” we can’t wait to be consumed by unicorns and tomfoolery in theaters July 3.

‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
Last spring, we saw the heartbreak and heroism of District 12’s volunteer tribute Katniss Everdeen as she wielded a bow to stay alive in “The Hunger Games.” In the second of three installments, Katniss and fellow survivor Peeta struggle to assimilate back to their regular lives. Tangled in the midst of a love triangle, Katniss is again faced with life-and-death situations. Prepare for another epic battle, and may the odds be ever in your favor Nov. 22.

‘The Heat’
After her stint with the FBI in the “Miss Congeniality” films, Sandra Bullock dusts off the badge yet again to play an uptight agent in this spring’s “The Heat.” Assigned to a case involving the Russian mob, Bullock teams up with the new queen of comedy, Melissa McCarthy, who plays a loose cannon Boston detective. Just from the trailer, it is apparent that Bullock and McCarthy have hilarious chemistry as they try to overcome their glaring differences to bust the bad guys. “The Heat” takes down the big screen April 5.

‘Man of Steel’
It’s not a bird! It’s not a plane! It’s Superman! With Christopher Nolan producing and Zack Snyder directing, you can be sure that the newest adaptation about the last son of Krypton will be a refreshingly original look at the original superhero. With an all-star cast including Amy Adams, Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner, “Man of Steel” is on track to deliver a stylish portrayal of the rise of Clark Kent. Bust out the red capes June 14.

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’
While its predecessor continues to score in the box office, the second Hobbit installment is already shaping up to be one for the books. It will pick up where “An Unexpected Journey” left off, with Bilbo Baggins and his troupe of dwarves adventuring across Middle-earth to slay the deadly dragon. Orlando Bloom is slated to reprise his role as golden-haired Legolas. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” continues the journey Dec. 13.

‘Monsters University’
Our favorite monsters are back, but the story begins before we met Boo. In Pixar’s first prequel, “Monsters University” takes us back 10 years to when Mike and Sully met in college. Much like MSUM, Monsters University is an educational edifice designed to hone the skills of its students. With college parties and all, we will see Mike and Sully survive freshman year, initially as enemies. Check your closets, “Monsters University” pops out June 21.

Honorable Mentions:
“A Good Day to Die Hard”  •  Feb. 14
“Star Trek Into Darkness”  •  May 22
“The Hangover Part III”  •  May 24
“Kick-ass 2”  •  June 28
“The Wolverine”  •  July 26
“Ender’s Game”  •  Nov. 1
“Thor: The Dark World”  •  Nov. 8

BY BRIAN ASHBURN
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