A Quick Look at the Remaining 2009 Science Fiction Movies
by Alex Billington
April 21, 2009
I'm a big fan of anything and everything science fiction, and I'll gladly admit that the movies I'm most excited for are usually from that genre. We've already seen a few great sci-fi flicks so far this year, like Monsters vs Aliens and Knowing, but there are a plenty more great ones yet to come. In fact, there are at least 14 more sci-fi movies still due out this year, including one that may just revolutionize cinema as we know it. The summer movie season finally kicks off in a few more weeks, and debuting the second weekend into May is one of the biggest sci-fi movies of the year, Star Trek. But that's only just the beginning…
Read on for our fairly comprehensive look at the 14 remaining science fiction movies of 2009, starting with Star Trek, and ending with James Cameron's Avatar. Are you ready to dive in? Then let's get right to it!
Directed by J.J. Abrams
In Theaters May 8th
At this point, I don't think I need to say much about this. Its been 7 years since we last saw Star Trek on the big screen, and 18 years since we last saw Captain Kirk and the original crew in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Now, the USS Enterprise is back, but with all new faces. J.J. Abrams has rounded up a vibrant young cast to show us the origins of the 7 crew members on the bridge of the Enterprise, from Kirk to Spock to Bones to Sulu to Uhura to Chekov to Scotty. It was a risk rebooting this franchise, but it's look good so far, and Paramount might have successfully turned Star Trek from geek to cool in no time.
Directed by McG
In Theaters May 21st
Another sci-fi franchise rebooted, like Star Trek, but this time they're continuing right where they left off at the end of Terminator 3 in 2003. And just like Abrams, McG has rounded up a vibrant young cast to lead the resistance against the machines. Ever since James Cameron introduced us to his vision of the post-apocalyptic future that was waiting us after Judgment Day, we've all been hoping to see what it would look like and how John Connor would lead the resistance. Now we get our chance. And thanks to Christian Bale, Terminator Salvation looks like the futuristic Terminator sequel we've all been wanting to see!
Directed by Jaco van Dormael
Release Date Currently Unknown
From Belgian filmmaker Jaco van Dormael comes an incredible sci-fi drama about life, love, and family. Nemo Nobody, played by Jared Leto, leads an ordinary existence with his wife and 3 children until the day when reality skids and he wakes up as an old man in the year 2092. At 120, Mr. Nobody is both the oldest man in the world and the last mortal of a new mankind where nobody dies. The only questions that preoccupy him in the present are whether he lived the right life, loved the woman whom he was supposed to love, and had the children whom he was meant to have… now his purpose is to find the right answer.
Directed by Sandy Collora
Release Date Currently Unknown
Yet another independent sci-fi film, this time from former concept artist and creature designer Sandy Collora, who also brought us the fan film Batman: Dead End. We don't know too much about this yet, and only got our first glimpse at a teaser trailer a few weeks ago… But what we do know is that Collora shot it on a shoestring budget down in Mexico and designed some really sleek futuristic armor for the team of special forces commandos to wear. Collora has said that Hunter Prey has a "very 70's, old school sci-fi, organic, feel" to it. That small description, combined with that awesome armor, is enough to make me interested.
Directed by Duncan Jones
In Theaters June 12th
From out of nearly nowhere comes Moon, the Sundance sensation from first-time director Duncan Jones, who is David Bowie's son. While I won't dare spoil any of the big plot points of the story, Moon is about astronaut Sam Bell, played by Sam Rockwell, who is finishing his three years of contracted work on the surface of the Moon, mining precious Helium 3, a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems. However, things start to go crazy when Sam has an all too personal encounter. I can already say, having seen this once in January, that it's one of the best low-budget sci-fi films of the last decade.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Directed by Michael Bay
In Theaters June 24th
Again, this is a movie that needs no introduction, especially as a sequel to one of the biggest hits of 2007. I think the more important question is why have I included it in the sci-fi genre. Well, we can't forget that Optimus Prime, Megatron, and all their Autobot and Decepticon friends, are actually aliens from another planet called Cybertron. Sure, they may be futuristic robots as well, but they're also aliens, and that instantly makes this a sci-fi, even though I'd probably call it an action/adventure movie more than anything. That said, I'm excited to see what Michael Bay has whipped up in this sequel, with even bigger giant robots.
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
In Theaters August 14th
Taking its cue from Cloverfield, Neill Blomkamp's District 9 has remained a very secret project until quite recently. Even though we still haven't seen a trailer, we do know that it's about "non-humans" (aka aliens) who landed on Earth years ago and have become refugees in Johannesburg, South Africa. The film is a full-length version of Blomkamp's short film titled Alive in Joburg. However, we don't really know how the story will play out, or what the aliens are even doing on Earth, which makes this all the more intriguing. It's produced by Peter Jackson, who is Blomkamp's mentor, and is gearing up to hit hard this summer.
From Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the crazy minds behind Crank and Crank: High Voltage, comes an adrenaline-fueled action movie set in the distant future. Video games have advanced so much, that players control actual human beings, prisoners implanted with chips in their brains, in intense battles in post-apocalyptic wastelands. Gerard Butler stars as the most popular player in a game called Slayers, on the verge of gaining his freedom, and Logan Lerman stars as his player Simon. It's definitely way more action than it is sci-fi, but it's got enough of those futuristic elements that sci-fi fans might enjoy it as well.
Directed by Christian Alvart
In Theaters September 4th
There are always a few sci-fi movies that seep into the horror genre, and this year, Pandorum is the big one. Directed by German filmmaker Christian Alvart, the movie stars Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid as two crew members aboard a spaceship who wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities. They eventually discover more people on the ship as well as some nasty tribal warriors intent on killing everyone. It sounds somewhat inspired by Joss Whedon's "Firefly" (think of the Reavers), but who knows, as we have yet to hear more details about it. The first trailer that hit a few months ago did look quite promising.
Directed by Jonathan Mostow
In Theaters September 25th
Seemingly inspired by Isaac Asimov's I, Robot comes this energetic action movie about a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots. It's actually based on a Top Shelf graphic novel and was directed by Jonathan Mostow, who previously directed U-571 and Terminator 3. Bruce Willis stars as a cop who is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others' surrogates robots, a mysteriously unlikely occurrence. Given we haven't seen Bruce Willis in a sci-fi movie since Armageddon in 1998, it's great to finally have him back in the genre again.
Directed by David Bowers
In Theaters October 23rd
The one and only animated movie that rightfully deserves to be on this list. Astro Boy, based on Osamu Tezuka's beloved Japanese manga, is about a robotic boy created with incredible powers. It's set in the futuristic Metro City and is kind of a kid's movie, but still packed full of great sci-fi. It deserves to be on this list because of how culturally important Astro Boy is to Japan. Animated by Imagi Studios, the company behind TMNT in 2007, Astro Boy features the voices of Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Bill Nighy, and Kristen Bell. So far all the trailers we've seen have been promising and I'm excited to see more.
Directed by Richard Kelly
In Theaters October 30th
Now this is one movie you may really be wondering why I've included on this list. The Box is directed by Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly, and at first glance, is nothing more than a morality tale about a couple in the 70's who receive a mysterious box with an ominous button. But of course, we can't forget that this is Richard Kelly, and he did write the script. Looking back at an article from early 2008, Kelly mentions that The Box includes "'70s kitsch, teleporting and the 1976 Viking mission to Mars." That certainly sounds sci-fi to me. Anyone want to guess that their might be some time travel ideas in this as well?
Directed by Roland Emmerich
In Theaters November 13th
This is another movie that borders on being fantasy more than science fiction, although conspiracy theorists might argue that there's a lot more science than fantasy surrounding the predicted apocalypse of 2012. From the special effects-loving German director Roland Emmerich comes yet another big budget disaster movie (the 4th one he's made). John Cusack stars as an academic researcher who attempts to lead a group of people in a fight to counteract the apocalyptic events that occur in the year 2012. Emmerich is keeping the plot details on this one a mystery, for obvious reasons, but I'm still excited to see how it plays out.
Directed by James Cameron
In Theaters December 18th
What a way to end the year - with the granddaddy of them all. From Terminator to Aliens to The Abyss, he's brought us some of the greatest sci-fi movies of all-time, and he's ready to do it all over again. James Cameron directs the very highly anticipated Avatar, which has been in production for many years. All we know is that it's the story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet called Pandora rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival. Even though it's the last on this list, Avatar is the movie I'm most excited to see.
It certainly looks like an exciting year for sci-fi. Being a huge fan of the genre, I really hope all of these movies are as great as they seem, because I want to end this year having seen some great sci-fi classics.
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Reader Feedback - 47 Comments
The trailer for Astro Boy looks surprisingly decent.
adam on Apr 21, 2009
Hey, I've never before heard of "Mr. Nobody". Sounds really interesting to me - I've been longing for another great scifi drama since "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". By the way - the shot you posted looks just like the one in "Requiem for a Dream" where Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly lie next to each other like this. (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/44/Requiem_for_a_Dream_screenshot_1.jpg) c-r-u-x
Chris Offner on Apr 21, 2009
Avatar is on my most anticipated list... isnt the chris nolan direct inception due out this year too? or is it next year...
viral on Apr 21, 2009
Alex, i thought you hated Monsters Vs. Aliens.....why did you refer to it as a great sci fi film?
Al on Apr 21, 2009
Half of these films are ripoffs of other films - Citizen Game? It's just the Running Man, except no Ahnold or Mr. Freeze...oh wait...that might be a good thing. Pandorum - total Event Horizon/Alien ripoff. "In space nobody can hear you scream" - hasn't that one been used before? Surrogates - Blade Runner...I, Robot...come on! 2012 - Now Roland Emmerich is ripping himself off! Crazy... ...and those guys on Hunter Prey? Great Costumes? They look like they raided Boba Fett's wardrobe. The other half are either sequels, "reboots", or remakes. The remaining two or three, IE The Box, Avatar, Moon look kinda decent.
The Oct8pus on Apr 21, 2009
No Inception is due out in July next year, Nice list Alex im personally looking forward to Moon, Surrogates and of course, Avatar. I hope it turns out well
spect8re on Apr 21, 2009
2012 I believe has the best viral campaign I've ever seen go check it out it's so realistic.
Black Dynomite on Apr 21, 2009
My most anticipated movies are Transformers, Moon, Pandorum, and Star Trek out of these Sci-Fi films!
The_Phantom on Apr 21, 2009
The remaining two or three ie District 9, Avatar and Moon look brilliant!
tacoscat on Apr 21, 2009
The only one Im really excited for is Moon.
Derek on Apr 21, 2009
All of the are pretty good decent movies that worth give them a shot i am excited about how these movies will turn out to be. Thanks for boosting the hype Alex.
Fisherr on Apr 21, 2009
as a scifi fan you should know hunter preys costumes are almost complete ripoffs of boba fett and the clone army from star wars, but yes they still look badass and ill still see it
harrison on Apr 21, 2009
There is an animated sci fi movie coming out with the same concept as Avatar. I forget the name but it looks decent for a kids movie
Dan W on Apr 21, 2009
AVATAR? That sounds like a good one Alex.
Jim Dorey on Apr 21, 2009
I'd have to include the Shane Acker film "9". It's looks to be a sci-fi based animated film that deserves to be on this list.
TheGuyInThePJs on Apr 21, 2009
avatar and 2012 are the ones im most excited to watch
alan on Apr 21, 2009
I was originally gonna write off 2012, but Cusack's involvement has me interested now. The ones I'm really looking forward to are Moon & District 9. Go peep Alive in Joburg. I like the grittier realistic feel this has over a lot of the polished sleek & shiny sci-fi everyone else seems to pimp.
jasonmd2020 on Apr 21, 2009
im gonna go to Roland Emmerich's house and laugh at him if the world doesnt end in 2012 lol ill be like loser loser loser loser.that would be funny 🙂
Spider94 on Apr 21, 2009
my fav list from least to greatest: Transformers 2, Star Trek, Moon, District 9, Terminator Salvation, and the greatest Avatar!
Scott McHenry on Apr 21, 2009
YES! YES! No. Yes. Yes. YES! No. No. No. No. Maybe. No. No. No.
Jeep Fu on Apr 21, 2009
@ #4 Because he's so wishy-washy in his opinions that he contradicts himself within his own sentences, never mind from one article to another. Though I could say that it doesn't really matter, as news is what this site's about, and he does that well! (seewutIdidthar)
Mister_Bubbles on Apr 21, 2009
Being a SciF fan myself, I hope that I'll be able to watch most of these movies this year. Especially looking forward here right now to Star Trek, Moon,Terminator Salvation and Avatar. Also curious about Hunter, Transformers, Surrogates or 2012, although that one is directed by Emmerich. Monsters vs. Aliens I wouldn't consider as a great movie, but rather an average one with quite flat characters and jokes for the younger ages. Knowing was ok in my opinion, but not exceptional despite the intransigent ending. Hope that this genre will get more attention by the film industry in the future.
cine_phil on Apr 21, 2009
"Hope that this genre will get more attention by the film industry in the future." If Avatar is as revolutionary as the rumours suggest, and the cinema-going public pick up on that, then I'm sure it will 😀
Mister_Bubbles on Apr 21, 2009
D on Apr 21, 2009
Screw all these movies! Everyone make sure to check me out in my upcoming film Taking Woodstock, and dont forget to catch my show Important Things with me DUHmetri Martin, only on Comedy Central!
DUHmetri Martin on Apr 21, 2009
I read the script to "2012." It's terrible.
Will on Apr 21, 2009
Hot damn, this is a good year for science fictions fan, myself included 🙂
jman571 on Apr 21, 2009
The only movie I really want to see made in the sci-fi genre is Enders Game.
Jason on Apr 21, 2009
From wikipedia: "Science fiction (abbreviated SF or sci-fi with varying punctuation and capitalization) is a broad genre of fiction that often involves speculations based on current or future science or technology. " This is an old definition but i guess it's still in ues. I think Transformer would be more a fantasy movie than a sci-fi one, since it doesn't predict or especulate about the future science or tecnology.
Emet on Apr 22, 2009
current or future science or technology. " This is an old definition but i guess it's still in ues. I think Transformer would be more a fantasy movie than a sci-fi one, since it doesn't predict or especulate about the future science or tecnology. Way to split hairs, how exactly is Transformers not depicting use of current or future technology. There was a nice bit of dialogue in the first movie that indicated Megatron was reverse engineered to deliver current and upcoming tech in that story. Doesn't get more sci-fi than that now does it.
really? on Apr 22, 2009
Well... Star Trek, Terminator, Transformers and Avatar are "usual suspects"... Moon seems great from what I've read, District 9 looks like the next Cloverfield (that may be a good thing!) and the rest... well... not worth the ticket price, maybe a rental! Off-topic: any news from Dragonball Evolution? I read that distribution in Europe will be very restricted... I'm from Portugal and the main portuguese distributor as removed it from everywhere... is it that bad?
Pedro Lopes on Apr 22, 2009
from your descritption of surrogte its the exact story of robots of dawn by issac assimov.
rob on Apr 22, 2009
Surrogates does not sound a damned thing like Asimov's I, Robot. It sounds a hell of a lot more like Asimov's The Naked Sun which had humans completely cut off from each other except for married couples emotionless intercourse. I, Robot was more about the history of Robotics and did not include a SINGLE story that had anything to do with this concept.
RSIxidor on Apr 22, 2009
The only one I'm NOT looking forward to is the neutered PG-13 fest Terminator Salvation. Fuck McG.
whatmeworry on Apr 22, 2009
Avatar seems very interesting and I'm looking forward to watching it.
Sarah on Apr 22, 2009
Kinda surprised that no one besides comment 35 caught the obvious connection to Asimov's novels with Elijah Bailey... in particular 'The Robots of Dawn' where a robot is 'killed' and Elijah is summoned to discover 'who-dun-it'. Great stories can be read people, don't just sit and wait for a movie.
Jason on Apr 22, 2009
Terminator Salvation will suck beyond all recognition..Some movies need that unrestricted R rating. This is one of those films. Instead we're getting another run of the mill kiddie friendly explosion fest. This is not a bonified Terminator movie..Hack directors like McG that compromise their films just to get more butts into seats doesn't fly well with me. I'm going to keep my money and hold out for the (hopefully) edit free unrated version on blu ray...if there will be one and I'm quite sure there will be.
runjanerun on Apr 23, 2009
What about the time travelers wife?
larry on Apr 23, 2009
The fact that Dragonball is getting a limited release in Europe (where DB animation and comics are still popular) is a sign that this new movie is a crapfest...
The Oct8pus on Apr 23, 2009
I was originally interested in 2012, but Cusack's involvement has me writing it off now.
Novocain Hurricane on Apr 23, 2009
Diane Kruger looks a lot like Carla Bruni in that picture from "Mr. Nobody". Wow, this year is full of sci-fi movies.
F.C. on Apr 25, 2009
I sure would be pleased if the "Sci Fi" genre, and the SciFi channel in specific would remember that the operative word is FICTION, and expand on what gets 'shoveled' to us in film versions. I am so tired of super effect movies that just rehash the plot of, "Oh, dear, will the humans ever escape from the monster, disaster, (fill-in-the-blank), before it kills them. Perhaps, using imagination, Main Stream film producers MIGHT consider some of the more brilliant writers, such as Sir Arthur Clark, Isaak Asimov, and with some humor like Douglas Adams, Robert Sawyer, and Terry Pratchett. With imagination, they could produce films that had valid, though provoking, and uplifting views of the potential for mankind.
Jay on Apr 25, 2009
Looks like 2009 will see the rebirth of sci-fi. Of the films listed, the following interest me: Star Trek Mr. Nobody (which, sadly, is not going to premiere at Cannes) Moon District 9 Avatar What about Battle for Terra?
elessar on Apr 26, 2009
I can see why Avatar on the top of your list The concept sounds awesome and is following a relatively little used formula As for #33's question about Dragonball From what I understand, both critics and box office numbers tore that thing to shreds
Dating in Toronto on Apr 27, 2009
AH, YES, BUT THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A GOOD OLD UNDERTAKING OF A PALACE IN INDIA.
Jafar on May 2, 2009
Does anyone know what happened to Cold Souls with Paul Giamatti? That looked like a great sci-fi flick.
Zamora on May 20, 2009
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