As 2010 comes to a close, what better way to spend the early new year than reading up on the major car chase/racing releases to come in 2011. While it does not appear that 2011 will yield a similar bumper crop of chase and racing films as did 2010, there are some notable releases that look distinctively promising.
Here's what we can look forward to in 2011:
Red Dirt Rising (2010): Technically a 2010 film, it will have its direct to dvd release in January 2011. Red Dirt Rising traces the 1940s pre-history of American stock car racing from its moonshine origins. More info is available at the film's website.
Release date: 11th January.
The Green Hornet (2011): Michel Gondry directs this feature film adaptation of the 1960s television series that sees Seth Rogen star as the Green Hornet and Jay Chou as Kato. It's unlikely that the film will be anything like the original series, but who cares if the Green Hornet's vehicle - a modified 1960s Chrysler Imperial - gets an appearance in a car chase.
Release date: 14th January (in 3D). Website.
The Mechanic (2011): Always a good bet that a Jason Statham film will more than likely feature a car chase. And given that it is a remake of the 1972 film, starring Charles Bronson, even more reason to be hopeful. Not much go on via its trailer, but this clip shows that the film will have a fairly destructive pursuit sequence.
Release date: 28th January. Website.
Drive Angry (2011): Arguably, Drive Angry will be first major car chase film to be presented in 3D. Time will tell whether 3D technology will add anything new to the 2D automotive experience, but there is no doubt that this film is a major event on the car chase calendar.
Release date: 25th February (in 3D). Website.
Paul (2011): Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite in this sci-fi comedy featuring a less than adorable alien named Paul. Expect some car chase action in the shape of a RV being pursued by federal agents, as can be witnessed in its trailer.
US Release date: 18th March. Car chase fans in the United Kingdom will have the rare pleasure of having the opportunity to watch this before its release in the States as it opens on the 18th February. Website.
Fast Five (2011): Fifth instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise with Justin Lin returning to the directorial helm for the third time. The story picks up from where the Fast & Furious left off, with the action now taking place in Rio de Janeiro. Good chance that Fast Five will prove to be the car chase highlight of the year.
Release date: 29th April. Website.
Cars 2 (2011): The much anticipated sequel to Cars will be amongst the big summer releases with the film being a cross between a James Bond spoof and a Grand Prix racing movie. Let's hope that Pixar delivers and that the sequel is as good as the original.
Release date: 24th June. Website.
Another Marvel comic book adaption with Chris Evans playing the titular role with the film set during the 1940s bringing to life the comic books original setting. No trailers out yet, but the word is that the film will feature car chase shot in Manchester, England to capture the appropriate historical look.
Release date: 22nd July. Website.
Horrible Bosses (2011): Jennifer Aniston stars in this comedy involving three friends murdering their boss. Apparently the film features a Volkswagen Jetta in a car chase. No trailer or poster art yet.
Release date: 29th July.
30 Minutes or Less (2011): Another crime comedy that follows the story of two small time criminals who kidnap a pizza delivery driver and force him to rob a bank. Jesse Eisenberg, of The Social Network fame, stars but more important to our concerns is that there are rumours that the film features a car chase and car stunts. No trailer or poster art yet.
Release date: 12th August.
Drive (2011): This could be the surprise car chase film of the year. For a start, the plot sounds extremely promising: a Hollywood stuntman (Ryan Gosling) moonlights as a as a getaway driver. And then there is the serious talent involved in this production: Christina Hendricks (in presumably a femme fatale role), Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, and Nicolas Winding Refn who directs. Hopefully the trailer will shed more light on what's to come.
Release date: 16th September.
Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011): The fourth installment in the Mission Impossible series with Tom Cruise returning in his Ethan Hunt role. Not much yet to go on in terms of story and action, but this blog reports that a car chase sequence was shot in Dubai.
Release date: 16th December.
Don 2 (2011): Sequel to Don (2006), which itself was a remake of the original Don released in 1978. Sharhrukh Khan returns in the lead role who was involved in an accident while filming a car chase scene for the film, as noted in this report. At any rate, always good to see a Bollywood film amongst the car chase calendar of releases.
Release date: 23rd December.
Up the Aisle (2011): Also due to hit the screens in 2011 is this Australian comedy that centers around a wedding that involves a host of odd ball characters, with a couple of car chases thrown into the mix, according to the film's IMDB plot summary.
Release date: T.B.A. Website.