Entertainment & Arts

Beyonce, Bridget Jones and Manet: 2013's cultural highlights

What are the cultural events to look forward to in 2013? The BBC's arts and entertainment team picks some of the big books, films, tours, exhibitions and shows for the new year.

FILMS OF 2013 - Neil Smith

Image caption Sir Anthony Hopkins (r) plays 'Hitch' while Dame Helen Mirren (l) is his wife, Alma Reville

As is now customary, the first two months of the year will be dominated by a slew of high-profile titles either in contention for film awards, or hoping to be so.

These range from Asian tsunami drama The Impossible and the film of Les Miserables to Quentin Tarantino's western Django Unchained and Kathryn Bigelow's dramatisation of the Bin Laden manhunt, Zero Dark Thirty.

Daniel Day-Lewis is believed to be an Oscar frontrunner for his role as 'Honest Abe' in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, while Sir Anthony Hopkins is generating similar buzz for playing the title character in Hitchcock.

Away from awards season, there appears to be no end to the appetite for comic book blockbusters about masked superheroes, as the success of Avengers Assemble, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises showed this year.

Image caption Hugh Jackman takes his shirt off and gets his claws out in The Wolverine

Following hot on their booted heels are fresh adventures for Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man, his Marvel stable-mate Thor and clawed X-Men character Wolverine, played as ever - without a mask - by Hugh Jackman.

Superman returns in Man of Steel in the guise of Britain's Henry Cavill, while Aaron Taylor-Johnson will doubtless give the DC Comics icon a run for his money in Kick-Ass 2.

But its not just comic books that are spawning mega franchises. Every animation house has got to have one, too.

Witness the emergence in 2013 of Monsters University, a prequel to the Pixar studio's 2001 success Monsters, Inc; Planes, a spin-off set in the same universe as Pixar's Cars films; and second visits to the worlds of Despicable Me and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Newcomers to this crowded field include Wreck-It Ralph, a Disney comedy about an unloved arcade game character, and Epic, a fantasy set against a leafy forest backdrop.

In the live-action realm, there will be a third instalment of The Hangover, a second Sin City and a follow-up to 2009's Star Trek reboot - with Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch as its chief villain - sure to be embraced by those who appreciated their predecessors.

Image caption The fifth Die Hard film sees Willis's John McClane (left) joined by his son (Jai Courtney, right)

The end of the year also brings second instalments in the Hobbit and Hunger Games film series, as well as a return for Tom Clancy's CIA analyst Jack Ryan.

Before then we'll see James Franco play the young Wizard of Oz in Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful, and Johnny Depp play Tonto beside Armie Hammer's Lone Ranger.

Steve Coogan, meanwhile, will bring his most famous comic creation to the big screen at last in Alan Partridge: The Movie.

Arnold Schwarzenegger? He'll "be back" as a sheriff defending the US-Mexican border in The Last Stand. Sly Stallone? He'll be back as well, in graphic novel adaptation Bullet to the Head.

Bruce Willis, meanwhile, will be rarely off our cinema screens, whether reviving John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard, reuniting with Dame Helen Mirren in Red 2, or bolstering the toy-inspired heroes of GI Joe: Retaliation.

Tom Cruise and Will Smith will bring us futuristic action in Oblivion and After Earth respectively, while Brad Pitt faces a zombie outbreak in World War Z.

Image caption Matt Damon plays an ex-convict living on a ravaged Earth in September release Elysium

But maybe the most enticing prospects of 2013 will come, not from the stars, but from idiosyncratic film-makers used to forging their own distinctive paths.

Terrence Malick (To the Wonder), Gus Van Sant (Promised Land) and Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby) are among the big names with new work to share.

Ron Howard, meanwhile, recreates the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda in Formula One biopic Rush, while District 9's Neill Blomkamp heads to the future in sci-fi parable Elysium.

And after the acclaim he received for the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, it will be fascinating to see what Danny Boyle conceives next in art heist thriller Trance.

BOOKS OF 2013 - Rebecca Jones

Image caption Jones's diaries have been opened again

If you found an e-book reader in your stocking this Christmas, what might you be downloading onto it in 2013? Or indeed buying in a bookshop - if that is the way you prefer to do things.

Well, expect to hear a lot of noise around the return of Bridget Jones, as Helen Fielding's girl of the nineties steps into a new decade.

Readers eager for more Hilary Mantel will have to wait. She is hard at work on the final part of her trilogy about Thomas Cromwell.

But another twice Man Booker prize winning author, JM Coetzee, has a new novel out. The Childhood of Jesus is a mysterious story about a man and a boy who arrive in a new land. In the process though, their memories are wiped out.

There are also new books from former Man Booker winners Julian Barnes and Margaret Atwood.

Mohsin Hamid follows up The Reluctant Fundamentalist with How to get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. Written in the guise of a self-help book, it is about a boy who goes from rural poverty to become a corporate tycoon.

Khaled Hosseini, whose debut The Kite Runner was such a sensation, returns with And the Mountains Echoed, his first book in six years.

While other high profile names with books published in 2013, include John Le Carre, Kate Atkinson and Tracey Chevalier.

Look out too for William Boyd's new James Bond novel.

Image caption Stephen King is returning to one of his most famous creations

Even though he once said: "I can't bear fiction", there's a new novel from Peter Ackroyd. For the first time he uses invented, rather than historical, characters, and Three Brothers is set within living memory.

A Hologram For The King by Dave Eggars arrives on a tidal wave of praise from the United States.

While fellow American writer James Salter, 87, is back with All That Is, his first novel for more than three decades.

And Elizabeth Gilbert, best known for Eat, Pray, Love, returns with her first novel for twelve years, The Signature of All Things.

For readers more interested in new talent one of the most eagerly anticipated debuts is a family drama from the British-born, American-raised Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go.

Expect plenty of fanfare in August, with the global publication of the first novel in a seven part fantasy series by Samantha Shannon, called The Bone Season.

And the following month, much attention will be paid to Stephen King's sequel to his horror novel The Shining. Thirty six years after the original was published, Dr. Sleep will follow Danny Torrance, the young boy who survived the horrific events of the first book.

Happy Reading.

TELEVISION OF 2013 - Lizo Mzimba

Image caption Where (and when?) will the Doctor travel for his golden anniversary

Doctor Who may be over 900 years old, but the programme itself will turn 50 in 2013.

Its half century celebration is certain to be one of the more anticipated TV events of the year. A drama written by Mark Gatiss about the programme's genesis in 1963 has already been announced, with details about how the show itself will mark the anniversary also expected at some point.

Meanwhile, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat will also be helping to oversee another eagerly awaited BBC drama....

Sherlock's second series ended with Benedict Cumberbatch's detective appearing to fall to his death. Since then the internet has been awash with theories as to how he survived. The solution, expected to be unveiled at the start of the third series late in 2013, might well provoke just as much discussion.

Image caption Jeremy Piven plays Harry Gordon Selfridge, while Frances O'Connor plays his wife, Rose

ITV will be hoping to have a hit of Downton-sized proportions with Mr Selfridge, a 10-part drama about the man who revolutionised shopping in the early 20th Century.

Its impressive pedigree includes a script by celebrated dramatist Andrew Davies, and multi-Emmy winning, charismatic Jeremy Piven (Ari Gold on HBOs Entourage) as Harry Selfridge.

But after a year when its lost out to Strictly Come Dancing, the channel knows it may well have to make some changes to The X Factor. While it is overly harsh to judge a series that has still consistently delivered high viewing figures as a failure, by its own high standards, the show simply hasn't performed following Simon Cowell's departure as a judge. Could the answer be as simple as his return?

Few programmes have provoked such diverse reactions as Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror. The first series of Channel Four's dark comedy drama was the subject of hundreds of complaints to the broadcaster and Ofcom. But also went on to win a Golden Rose at the Rose d'Or television festival.

Brooker isn't known for his restraint, and whatever his second series of three films consists of, they're certain to be some of the most talked about programmes of 2013.

MUSIC OF 2013 - Mark Savage

Image caption Beyonce is rumoured to be in the studio with Justin Timblerlake, The Dream and Kanye West

If you look at this year's "best album" lists (and there are hundreds of them) the most noticeable thing is the lack of consensus.

There were dozens of contenders, but no album unified critics and audiences in the same way Adele's 21 had a year earlier. Will 2013 be any different?

Beyonce gets the ball rolling with a half time performance at the Super Bowl in February. It looks like she'll have an album ready by then, too, judging by the recording studio pictures she's been posting on Instagram.

Also hard at work on new material are Canadian seven-piece Arcade Fire, who have already got 35 tracks in the bag, according to their manager.

Three of those have been recorded with LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy - but we'll have to wait 'til the end of the year to find out whether they've made the final cut.

Lady Gaga returns in the spring with her fourth album, ArtPop, which she describes as having a "stoned Disney princess kinda vibe".

Image caption Mick Jagger and Lady Gaga - working together and apart in 2013

It is likely to include Princess Die, a melodramatic piano ballad written about Princess Diana, and other role models who died young, including Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse.

Other big-hitters returning in 2013 include Vampire Weekend, Metallica, Katy Perry, Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Katy B, Foals, The National and Eminem, who confirmed his eighth studio album on a baseball cap.

The rapper will also be headlining the Reading and Leeds festival, as well as a massive solo show at Ireland's Slane Castle.

But the big question is who will climb to the summit of the Pyramid Stage when Glastonbury returns on 26 June?

The rumour mill already has it down as a Stones double bill - with The Rolling Stones one night, and a revitalised Stone Roses the next.

That leaves one headline slot left to fill. Other European festivals have already secured Blur, Rihanna and Mumford and Sons - which probably puts them out of the running. Maybe Radiohead or Kanye West, then?

Image caption One Direction are scheduled to play 120 shows on their 2013 world tour

Elsewhere, Robbie Williams is off on a European stadium tour with perma-grinning chart botherer Olly Murs; Fleetwood Mac are back on the road, sadly without Christine McVie, and The Killers play their first ever UK stadium date at Wembley in June.

This year's biggest boy band, One Direction, embark on a world tour in February, while prog rock legends Yes will be performing three of their classic albums in their entirety. Neither of these shows are for the faint of heart.

But the year's hottest ticket is undoubtedly Kraftwerk's concert series at the Tate Modern. The eight dates have already sold out - but if you're feeling rich, they're changing hands on eBay for about £300... Each.

If you'd rather sample some new music, you should check out the BBC's Sound Of 2013 list, whose winner will be revealed on Friday.

Debut albums from dance acts Rudimental, Disclosure and Charli XCX are also heavily tipped, and there's also a record on the way from Thom Yorke's side project, Atoms For Peace.

And, if all goes to plan, it looks like new mother Adele might deliver the follow-up to her first two albums, 19 and 21, in time for Christmas. Dan Wilson, who co-wrote Someone Like You, says he's been exchanging ideas with the singer over email.

Presumably, this one will be called 24.

ART AND EXHIBITIONS OF 2013 - Will Gompertz

Image caption The Manet exhibition comprises more than 50 works, including this portrait of Antonin Proust

The Royal Academy's Edouard Manet portraits show will kick 2013 off in blockbuster style when it opens in January. There will be crowds, there will be bruised toes, and audio guide-wearing visitors acting like automatons might even cause a punch up, but it is a must see. (For some peace and quiet, aim to go first thing on a Monday orTuesday).

The year will conclude with the Turner Prize being awarded in Londonderry. It is the first time the prestigious art prize has been held in Northern Ireland, and hopes are high in next year's City of Culture that it will be a big hit.

If the experiences of Liverpool and Gateshead are anything to go by, it can expect around 100,000 people to turn up.

In between those two exhibitions comes the Venice Biennale, the international art fest that sees artists and oligarchs sharing Bellinis and boats for a week of hedonism at the end of May. It is a bizarre occasion, a million miles and over a century away from Manet's time, when Monet and Van Gogh were penniless and their art rejected, and the great Cezanne worked in glorious isolation.

These are the exhibitions that will get the attention, but don't forget the publically-funded modern art galleries up and down the country that show great art all year round, from the Bristol Art Museum to the National Galleries of Scotland.