Sequels, remakes will dominate movie landscape in new year

Associated Press
DISNEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz search for the Fountain of Youth in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which comes out in May.

LOS ANGELES --- A momentous finalé lies ahead for Hollywood this year. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the biggest screen farewell since the final Star Wars movie, closing out a decade of adventures for the young wizard. As that franchise winds down, others are recharging. A new voyage looms for Pirates of the Caribbean , and Shrek 's feline hero Puss in Boots sets out on his own. Here are 2011 highlights:


FEBRUARY: Romance is in the air with Just Go With It, starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston; and Gnomeo & Juliet, an animated take on Shakespeare -- told with garden gnomes. Also: the concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never ; Martin Lawrence's sequel Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son ; the Farrelly brothers' comedy Hall Pass, with Owen Wilson; and Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry.

MARCH: Space invaders mess with humanity in Battle: Los Angeles , starring Aaron Eckhart as a Marine sergeant. "This is house-to-house urban combat. With aliens," Eckhart said. Also: Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster's comic drama The Beaver ; Johnny Depp's animated adventure Rango ; Amanda Seyfried's werewolf fantasy Red Riding Hood ; Matt Damon's thriller The Adjustment Bureau ; and the alien comedies Mars Needs Moms, with Seth Green, and Paul , with Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogen.

APRIL: Arthur , a remake of the 1981 comedy, stars Russell Brand as a rich bad boy and Helen Mirren as his nanny. Also: The Fast and the Furious sequel Fast Five , with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson; Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg's animated tale Rio; Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson's circus romance Water for Elephants ; and James Franco, Danny McBride and Natalie Portman's medieval romp Your Highness .

MAY: Hollywood offers three big sequels: a second helping of bachelor-bash chaos with Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis' The Hangover Part II ; Jack Black's animated action comedy Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom ; and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides , with Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in search of the Fountain of Youth. Also: The Marvel Comics superhero adventure Thor; Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin's romance Something Borrowed ; and Kristen Wiig's comedy Bridesmaids .

JUNE: The Pixar Animation masters -- makers of Toy Story 3 , Up and WALL-E -- are back with Cars 2 , as race car Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) heads to Europe for a Grand Prix adventure. Also: The sci-fi prequels X-Men: First Class , with James McAvoy, and Rise of the Apes , with James Franco; Ryan Reynolds' superhero tale Green Lantern ; J.J. Abrams' supernatural story Super 8 ; and the Cameron Diaz comedy Bad Teacher .

JULY: Along with the Harry Potter finalé, July features more shape-shifting robots with Transformers: Dark of the Moon . "It's going to be the craziest action movie ever, or we failed," star Shia LaBeouf said of the third chapter. Also: The comic-book adaptation The First Avenger: Captain America , with Chris Evans; Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford's Western and sci-fi mashup Cowboys & Aliens ; Tom Hanks directing and starring with Julia Roberts in the comic drama Larry Crowne ; Steve Carell's comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love ; Kevin James' talking-animal story Zookeeper ; the romance Monte Carlo , with Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy; and a new take on Winnie the Pooh .

AUGUST: Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard star in The Help , based on the best-selling novel about a white writer who collects the stories of black maids in the South as the civil-rights movement brews. Also: Jim Carrey's family tale Mr. Popper's Penguins ; the horror comedy remake Fright Night , with Anton Yelchin and Colin Farrell; the animated adventure The Smurfs ; Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman's body-switch comedy The Change-Up ; and Jesse Eisenberg's action comedy 30 Minutes or Less .

SEPTEMBER: Moneyball stars Brad Pitt as Oakland A's boss Billy Beane, who reinvents the cash-driven game by scouting diamond-in-the-rough players on a shoestring budget. Also: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr.'s family adventure Dolphin Tale ; Justin Timberlake's sci-fi saga Now ; Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts' thriller Dream House ; the supernatural story The Apparition , with Ashley Greene and Tom Felton; Rowan Atkinson's spy comedy Johnny English Reborn ; and the Shakespeare drama Anonymous , with Rhys Ifans.

OCTOBER: It's remake month: Newcomer Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough star in Footloose ; The Thing features Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton as Antarctic explorers battling a deadly alien life form; and The Three Musketeers is a 3-D update of the swashbuckling classic whose cast includes Orlando Bloom and Milla Jovovich. Also: Steven Soderbergh's thriller Contagion, featuring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet and Laurence Fishburne; Hugh Jackman's robot-boxer story Real Steel ; Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd's comedy Wanderlust ; and more Halloween haunting with Paranormal Activity 3 .

NOVEMBER: The holiday season brings part one of Breaking Dawn , the finalé to author Stephenie Meyer's supernatural romance that began with Twilight . It's also a big month for animation with Elijah Wood's tap-dancing penguin sequel Happy Feet 2; Antonio Banderas' Shrek spinoff Puss in Boots ; and the Santa Claus adventure Arthur Christmas . Also: Adam Sandler in dual roles for Jack and Jill ; Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy's crime romp Tower Heist ; and the big-screen return of The Muppets .

DECEMBER: Holmes and Watson (Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law) meet criminal mastermind Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes II . Steven Spielberg delivers two films: The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn and War Horse . Also: Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara star in Hollywood's take on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ; Tom Cruise returns for Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol ; Martin Scorsese directs the family adventure Hugo Cabret ; and the talking rodents are stranded in Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked .