EW Staff
April 28, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Remember when summer started on Memorial Day? Remember when the studios released summer movies in the summertime? It’s a fading memory for us as well.

This year, Hollywood’s summer season starts earlier than ever (on May 5, with the opening of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator), which is why you’re getting our annual Summer Preview issue a little sooner than summer. But don’t worry; we didn’t rush anything. You’ll find our usual comprehensive coverage of every movie coming to theaters this summer — even the ones arriving this spring.

You’ll learn about the big sequels, like M:I-2 (with Tom Cruise getting the John Woo treatment), Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (with Eddie Murphy costarring with Eddie Murphy), and Pokemon 2 (ask your kids). We’ll give you the dish on John Singleton’s update of Shaft (with Richard Roundtree reprising his original role) and Harold Ramis’ take on Bedazzled (with Brendan Fraser in Dudley Moore’s part). It’s all in here, from the summer’s hottest trends (men in dresses are big, at least for Nutty‘s Murphy and Big Momma’s House‘s Martin Lawrence) to the bottom line on animated features like Titan A.E. and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. And even though it’s another Batman-free summer, comics fans can get excited about the X-Men.

If you’re wondering what to see on the date formerly known as Will Smith Day — July 4 — we’ll fill you in on George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg’s The Perfect Storm, as well as Mel Gibson’s The Patriot. But remember, even Independence Day is a little early this year: Both open June 30.

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