2007 Forecast

The 20 Big Events of 2007

From ''The Simpsons Movie'' to ''Spider-Man 3'' to Kanye West's ''Graduation,'' these new releases promise to make it a lucky '07

Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix | 'HALLOWS' GROUND It's a big year for Harry Potter fans, with the Order of the Phoenix film due this summer, and the final novel in…
'HALLOWS' GROUND It's a big year for Harry Potter fans, with the Order of the Phoenix film due this summer, and the final novel in the series also scheduled to appear

1. The Simpsons Movie
Here's a ditty inspired by episode ''9F10'' to get you in the mood. Sing along if you know the tune (if you don't, just hum the Flintstones theme): ''Simpson! Homer Simpson! He's the greatest guy in history. From the town of Springfield, he's about to hit the silver screen.'' (July 27)

2. Harry Potter
When the Ministry of Magic refuses to believe that You Know Who (Ralph Fiennes) has returned, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) builds an army of students to do battle. And if you don't know your Hogwarts from your Muggles, take heart: The saga wraps up with a seventh novel. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, July 13; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, TBA)

3. Footballers Wive$
ABC, which is adapting the British soap (and EW fave) for American TV, has tapped Bryan Singer (X-Men) to produce the pilot. Singer's the perfect choice to make the almost mutant Tanya Turner seem more human. (Fall)

4. Alicia Keys
Though the piano-pounding R&B wunderkind's third studio album is rumored to include artists like John Mayer, John Legend, and Linda Perry, you'll be seeing Keys first on the big screen; she costars in Smokin' Aces, Jan. 26, and The Nanny Diaries, April 20. (CD, summer)

5. On the Lot
In an alliance only Fox could dream up, Mark Burnett (Survivor) and Steven Spielberg search for the next great filmmaker among 16 contestants. Think American Idol meets Project Greenlight but without Chris Moore's glorious rage. (May)

6. Transformers
Optimus Prime, Megatron, the Decepticons, and the rest of their robotic ilk battle each other — and Shia LaBeouf's hair — in a $100 million-plus Michael Bay blowout. (July 4)

7. The Golden Compass
Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman headline this much-awaited adaptation of the first novel in Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy about shape-shifters and mysterious Dust. (Dec. 7)

8. Buffy, Season 8
Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon knows how much the disappearance of his TV show killed you (read: us). Apparently, you (read: we) have complained enough, since he's co-writing season 8 as a comic-book series. (March)

9. Charlie Wilson's War
''Wil-SON!'' Tom Hanks sheds his Da Vinci Code mane to play a reckless Texas congressman. The starry production includes Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman, as well as director Mike Nichols and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. (Dec. 25)

10. Picket Fences (Season 1)
Come for the severed hand and crazed wife who steamrolls her husband; stay for the performances of Tom Skerritt and Kathy Baker as sheriff Jimmy Brock and his wife, Jill. (June)

11. The Bronx Is Burning
Detailing the summer of '77 in NYC and the Yankees' pivotal season, this ESPN miniseries stars Oliver Platt as team owner and Seinfeld icon George Steinbrenner. (July)

12. I Am Legend
Having fought off robots, aliens, and homelessness, Will Smith turns his attention to postapocalyptic vampires in this adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel. (Dec. 14)

13. Ocean's Thirteen
George Clooney and Brad Pitt once again demonstrate that their lives are much, much cooler than yours. This time, even Matt Damon's wimpy Linus gets some action, courtesy of older babe Ellen Barkin. (June 8)

14. Family Ties (Season 1)
Ex-hippie parents (Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter) and conservative kid (Michael J. Fox) clash in the series that defined '80s family dissonance. Come to think of it, so did Justine Bateman's wardrobe. (Feb. 20)

15. Exit Ghost
Twenty-eight years after introducing his seminal alter ego Nathan Zuckerman and steering him through novels such as American Pastoral, Philip Roth brings his story to a close with a ninth and final tome. (October)

16. Fall Out Boy
The grand marshals of the hook-filled and hyper-wordy genre currently known as emo-pop bring the noise — and the funk — on their upcoming release, Infinity on High. Check the surprisingly Prince-like lead single, ''This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race.'' (Feb. 6)

17. Spider-Man 3
Joining Tobey Maguire as he dons the stretchy pants for a third time: Thomas Haden Church and Topher Grace as villains Sandman and Venom. Speaking of venom, will Mary Jane fans be spewing it now that Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) is on the scene as a rival for Peter Parker's affections? (May 4)

18. Whitney Houston & Britney Spears
Now that they've dropped approximately 180 pounds apiece (in spouses, that is), the two pop stars are ready for their return close-ups. But will America always love them? Or want to hit them one more time? (Both albums TBA)

19. Big Love
HBO's polygamy drama returns with more intrigue than an Osmond family BBQ. Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn) threatens to leave Bill (Bill Paxton), Nicki (Chloë Sevigny) struggles to remain in her father's family, and Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) angles for more power in the Henrickson clan. (June)

20. Kanye West, Graduation
One of the most consistently controversial musicians in millennial pop culture — as well as one of the most successful — returns with his third album of original material. (TBA)

Written by Gilbert Cruz, Leah Greenblatt, Michelle Kung, Tim Stack, and Tanner Stransky

What havoc will our baby-loving, sequel-spewing pals in Hollywood wreak in 2007? Gaze into fearless fortune-teller Whitney Pastorek's crystal ball.

Originally posted Jan 03, 2007 Published in issue #915 Jan 12, 2007 Order article reprints