7. The Avengers

Director: Joss Whedon
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Clark Gregg, Amanda Righetti
Release Date: May 4
Why we’re excited: It’s the epic superhero smackdown that comic book fans never thought would actually happen. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Loki, and Hawkeye, all on screen together? For the love of Stan Lee!

And for that, The Avengers will no doubt also be the subject of endless scrutiny and fan-boy dissection. So it’s a huge plus that Marvel Comics’ film branch has writer-director Joss Whedon at the helm of the company’s biggest movie to date; the mind behind such nerd treasures as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly, Whedon has withstood TV show cancellations, critical beat-downs, and after-the-fact praise—he should be as well-prepared for passionate Avengers reactions as anyone. Let’s just hope that fans don’t want to Hulk-smash his face in.