Sci-fi looming large in 2013

Tom Cruise stars in "Oblivion."

Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, Harrison Ford and Viola Davis are zipping up their spacesuits and getting ready to face alien armies, asteroids, elitist Earthlings and weird outer space stuff, as a squad of A-listers are set to top a wave of high-profile Hollywood science fiction flicks coming to screens in 2013. In addition to a couple of sci-fi franchise titles (notably Star Trek Into Darkness, the J.J. Abrams’ reboot sequel, coming May 17), the projects are:   

Oblivion (April 19) Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman star in Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski’s post-apocalyptic alien space war thriller.  

After Earth (June 7) Will Smith and son Jaden land on a planet that has been devoid of humans for more than 1,000 years. Malvern moviemaker M. Night Shyamalan is at the controls of this big-budget space adventure.

Pacific Rim (July 12) Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi are the humans behind a robots-battle-alien-invaders scheme -- alien invaders from the deepest precincts of Earth's oceans -- in Guillermo Del Toro’s much-anticipated return to directing, after spending a couple of fruitless years developing The Hobbit.  

Gravity (Oct. 18) Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are astronauts stuck in space when their shuttle gets slammed by some debris, or by giant slabs of Brie. Alfonso Cuaron, director of the best of the Harry Potters (The Prisoner of Azkaban) and the ace dystopian thriller Children of Men, directs.  

Elysium (Aug. 9) Matt Damon shaves his head and takes up arms in this 22nd century class warfare shoot ’em up from District 9 auteur Neill Blomkamp. Jodie Foster is the government official determined to keep the downtrodden trodden down, while the elite one percenters bask in the luxury of their orbiting space station.   

Ender’s Game (Nov. 1) Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel finally gets to the screen, with X-Men Origins: Wolverine director Gavin Hood steering a cast that includes Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Ben Kingsley -- and Asa Butterfield and Abigail Breslin as the Wiggins sibs. Butterfield is Ender Wiggins, being trained in the art of intergalactic combat, in preparation of an expected third invasion of evil insectoids.