This may come as a surprise: There are a lot of remakes and sequels lined up for the summer at the multiplex. Shocking, right? Actually, it isn't, because the hot months are when Hollywood unveils its potential blockbusters, which usually are familiar franchises or names. This summer we'll see everything from new installments of "Twilight" and "Toy Story" to remakes of "The Karate Kid" and "Predators."
Here's what's in store. Release dates are subject to change:
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Cast: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt
Director Ridley Scott reteams with his "Gladiator" star Crowe for this revamping of the legendary character, told in a very "Gladiator"-looking style. No tights here (that we can see).
"Letters to Juliet"
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Egan
Lovey goo-fest alert! An American girl on vacation in Italy finds an unanswered letter written to the fictional Juliet of "Romeo and Juliet" fame, and goes on a quest to find the lovers in the letter.
Cast: Queen Latifah, Common
In the other chick-flick corner, Latifah goes for a slam dunk as a physical therapist who falls for the basketball player she is helping recover from a career-threatening injury.
"Shrek Forever After"
Cast: Voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas
The final installment of the popular animated series — but the first in 3-D — finds Shrek making a deal with tricky ol' Rumpelstiltskin. He is sent to a twisted version of Far Far Away where Rumpelstiltskin is king, ogres are hunted, and he and Fiona never met.
Cast: Will Forte, Kristin Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer
Based on a "Saturday Night Live" sketch. Ex-special operative MacGruber is called back into action to take down his archenemy, who is in possession of a nuclear warhead and bent on destroying Washington, D.C. Hopefully he's bent on being funny, too.
"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley
Gyllenhaal goes the pumped-up-pecs action-star route as an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world. Based on the popular video game.
"Sex and the City 2"
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristen Davis, Cynthia Nixon
Same broads, different city. Sorry, that was rude and inaccurate. Different continent.
"Get Him to the Greek"
Cast: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand
Comedy about a record company intern (Hill) hired to accompany an out-of-control British rock star (Brand, from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall") to a concert at L.A.' s Greek Theater.
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher
Secret agent movie of the summer No. 1: A vacationing woman meets her ideal man, who is — wait for it — secretly a government assassin.
Cast: Voice of Owen Wilson, Lee Pace, William H. Macy
Live-action adaptation of the popular comic strip, about a suburban family that moves to a new neighborhood with their large and unruly Great Dane. Up next: "Family Circus." Kidding! I hope.
Cast: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Sharlto Copley, Patrick Wilson
Update of the '80s TV series that made Mr. T pity a fool, about a group of Iraq War veterans trying to clear their name after being framed for a crime they didn't commit.
"The Karate Kid"
Cast: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson
Reworking of the '80s movie with Smith (son of Will) taking over the role originated by Ralph Macchio, as a kid who moves to China with his mother and learns kung fu, taught to him by a master (Chan).
"Toy Story 3"
Cast: Voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Michael Keaton, Joan Cusack, Whoopi Goldberg
Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the toy gang return in 3-D as they are dumped in a day-care center after their owner, Andy, departs for college.
Cast: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich
Based on the DC western comic book, a scarred bounty hunter must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth.
"Knight and Day"
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard
Secret agent movie of the summer No. 2: Originally titled "Wichita," this action-comedy has Cruise playing a — you guessed it — secret agent who stumbles into the life of an ordinary woman.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider
After their high school basketball coach passes away, five former teammates reunite for a Fourth of July holiday weekend. Hilarity ensues.
"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
David Slade, who directed the horror film "30 Days of Night," takes over for this installment of the films based on the books, so maybe he'll bring more bite to the teen vampire/werewolf love story, which has Bella approaching graduation. No gifts, please.
"The Last Airbender"
Cast: Dev Patel, Noah Ringer
M. Night Shyamalan writes and directs this big-screen adaptation of the Nickelodeon kiddie series following the adventures of Aang, a young successor to a long line of Avatars who must put his childhood ways aside and stop the Fire nation from enslaving the Water, Earth and Air nations. I think I saw them in concert once.
Cast: Adrien Brody, Danny Trejo, Topher Grace
Robert Rodriguez produced this reboot of the '80s sci-fi action franchise, with Brody as a mercenary who leads a group of elite warriors to a planet where they come to realize they're being used as prey.
Cast: Voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Julie Andrews
The only original 3-D animation of the summer finds a trio of orphan girls causing a despicable mad scientist to rethink his plan to steal the moon.
Cast: Jonah Hill, John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Catherine Keener
Mark and Jay Duplass ("The Puffy Chair," "Baghead"), who made a name for themselves in the "mumblecore" low-budget film movement, head into the mainstream with this comedy about a recently divorced man who meets the woman of his dreams — and her obsessively overprotective son.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page
Writer/director Christopher Nolan ("Batman Begins") returns with this big-budget sci-fi tale he likens to "The Matrix," that follows a man who steals dreams for pay.
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel
Jon Turteltaub ("National Treasure") directs this fantasy about a master sorcerer who recruits a seemingly everyday guy in his mission to defend New York City from his arch-nemesis.
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber
In a role originally to be played by Tom Cruise, Jolie stars as a CIA officer accused of being a Russian spy. She then reteams with her old musical partner, Pepa, and they go on a worldwide tour. I completely made up that last part.
"Dinner for Schmucks"
Cast: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd
A group of executives hold a monthly dinner to see who can bring the biggest idiot. Makes bringing my green bean casserole sound so lame.
"Ramona and Beezus"
Cast: Joey King, Selena Gomez
Follows the misadventures of young grade-schooler Ramona Quimby from Beverly Cleary's popular children's book series.
Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Peter Krause, Neil Patrick Harris
A modern-day take on the "Beauty and the Beast" tale, where a New York teen is transformed into a hideous monster — with no hair product! —in order to find true love.
"Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore"
Cast: The voices of Alec Baldwin, Chris O'Donnell, Bette Midler
So we're supposed to ignore that James Bond reference in the title, right? Anyway, the cats and dogs from the original return to stop a rogue cat spy with her own sinister plans for conquest.
"Charlie St. Cloud"
Cast: Zac Efron, Kim Basinger
Director Burr Steers ("17 Again") reteams with Efron, who plays a young man who still plays catch and talks with his dead brother every night. But then he meets the girl of his dreams and must choose between her or his brother. Hea-ev-vy!
"Step Up 3-D"
Cast: Sharni Vinson, Rick Malambri
New York City street dancers in 3-D! There's probably a plot, but that's all you really need to know.
"The Other Guys"
Cast: Will Ferell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes
Two mismatched New York City detectives seize an opportunity to be like the top cops they idolize.
Cast: Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi
Chronicles one of the pioneers of Internet commerce as he wrestles with his morals and struggles not to drown in a sea of con men, mobsters, drug addicts and porn stars. Don't we all?
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li
Wow! This reads like a veritable "who's who" of '80s action stars, with Stallone directing everyone from Dolph Lundgren to Steve Austin to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Again, there's probably a plot, but that's all you really need to know.
"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"
Cast: Michael Cera, Anna Kendrick, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh
Director Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz") returns with another adaptation of a comic book, this time about a teen who must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil ex-boyfriends to win her heart. Can we say "high maintenance"?
"Eat, Pray, Love"
Cast: Julia Roberts, James Franco, Billy Crudup, Javier Bardem
Ryan Murphy ("Glee," Nip/Tuck") returns to the big screen with this adaptation of the beloved memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, about a woman who travels the world after a painful divorce.
Cast: Zoe Saldana, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Matt Dillon
A group of ridiculously good-looking bank robbers find their $20 million heist interrupted by a hard-boiled detective.
Cast: Bow Wow, Ice Cube
A young man living in the projects has to survive a three-day weekend after his opportunistic neighbors find out he's holding a winning lottery ticket.
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson
The second artificial insemination comedy this year (following "The Back-up Plan") has an unmarried 40-year-old woman who after many years reunites with her best friend, who secretly replaced her sperm sample with his own.
Cast: Jerry O'Connell, Elisabeth Shue
"Going the Distance"
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Christina Applegate
Director Nanette Burstein, who scored raves with the documentary "American Teen," tackles fiction with this look at the trials and tribulations of a long-distance relationship.
"Born to Be a Star"
Cast: Nick Swardson, Christina Ricci, Don Johnson
Adam Sandler co-wrote and co-produced this comedy about a small-town grocery bagger who discovers his conservative parents were once adult film stars. So he tries to carry on the family tradition.
Cast: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson,
Just the cast alone is enough reason to see this campy homage to B-movies, inspired by the fake trailer that ran in between the "Grindhouse" movies from 2007.
Art film wish list
"Micmacs" — Jean-Pierre Jeunet ("Amelie," "Delicatessan") directs this visually inventive tale of a man and his friends who scheme to destroy two big weapons manufacturers.
"Splice" — Sundance hit with Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as two rebellious scientists who splice together human and animal DNA to create a new organism.
"Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" _ Another Sundance favorite, a documentary on the life and career of comedian Joan Rivers.
"I Am Love" _ Tilda Swinton is getting rave reviews for her turn in this lushly designed period piece, a melodrama about the rich and bored in Milan.
"The Killer Inside Me" _ Casey Affleck stars as a West Texas deputy sheriff who is slowly unmasked as a psychotic killer.
"The Kids Are All Right" _ Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their birth father into their family life. With Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo.
"Get Low" _ Loosely based on real events. A backwoods hermit (Robert Duvall) decides to hold his own funeral while he is still alive. Also starring Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek.