Summer Movie Forecast

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Final exam week is fast approaching as the spring semester draws to a close. That means the summer movie season is only a few short weeks away. Summer 2011 is shaping up to be a season of sequels and big budget action flicks. Read on for a list of six of the most highly anticipated Summer 2011 films: Thor

This Marvel superhero film opens in theaters on May 6. Newcomer Chris Hemsworth will play the title character with Oscar winner Natalie Portman as Thor’s love interest and Anthony Hopkins as Thor’s father, Odin. Marvel chose Kenneth Branagh to direct the film which Hopkins, in an interview with MTV, said will be “a superhero movie, but with a bit of Shakespeare thrown in.”

Captain America: The First Avenger

Opening in theaters on July 22, this second Marvel superhero film details the origins of Captain America (played by Chris Evans). Evans is no stranger to superhero films; he played the part of Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four series. Tommy Lee Jones and Hugo Weaving also star. The WWII era film is in good hands with director Joe Johnston, who directed The Rocketeer and Hidalgo.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

Fans will bid farewell to the boy wizard on July 15 with the release of this final installment in the Harry Potter franchise. David Yates directs the film with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson reprising their roles. Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman also star.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

The Pirates of the Caribbean series returns to theaters with a fourth installment in 3D on May 20.  Johnny Depp returns to his role as the bungling pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow. This time he is in search of the Fountain of Youth and crosses paths with the legendary Blackbeard (played by Geoffrey Rush) and Blackbeard’s daughter (played by Penelope Cruz).

Cars 2: World Grand Prix

Summer wouldn’t feel quite the same without a new Pixar movie in theaters. The sequel to Pixar’s Cars opens in theaters on June 24. The press release reveals that the film will follow the racecar Lightening McQueen and his tow truck friend, Mater, overseas as they compete in the World Grand prix and find themselves on “a top-secret spy mission.” The movie is sure to live up to Pixar’s reputation for high-quality family-friendly fare.

Cowboys and Aliens

 This sci-fi spin on the classic cowboy movie opens in theaters on July 29. Daniel Craig (of James Bond fame) and Harrison Ford (of Indiana Jones fame) star as cowboys battling an extraterrestrial invasion. With such an absurd premise, this film will either become a cult classic or this summer’s blockbuster flop.

MiscNicole Bianchi