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The insider's guide to 2007

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- From the silver screen to the sports field, we present a round up of the potential hits and misses of 2007.

Film: Prepare yourself for the summer of sequels -- sequels of sequels to be exact -- as the Hollywood movie machine churns out big budget films featuring some familiar characters guaranteed to make the cash registers ch-ching. Anyone accusing the industry of a lack of imagination will be pointed to the studios' balance sheets and reminded that for the most part they're in it for the money. Those looking for something different might be better off at one of the independent film festivals taking place throughout year starting with the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, USA in January.

As for the blockbusters, get ready for the return of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, who will be lurching his way through the final installment of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At the World's End." Also starring will be the man Depp based his stumbling, slurring corsair on, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, who will appear as his long lost father. Keeping the amount of CGI high to avoid a yawn factor "Spider-Man 3" will be another familiar face to swing back onto the big screen in May, as well as Shrek the Third. George Clooney and co also get a third outing as the high-rolling criminal outfit in "Oceans 13." Finally making their debut appearance on the big screen will be America's first family, The Simpsons.

Books: "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" will also be released in the cinema in the summer, but the main event for the phenomenally successful boy wizard should be the release of JK Rowling's final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." The Pope has condemned the series as corrupting Christian youth and the books regularly appear on the list of those most banned drawn up the American Library Association. However this has not stopped Rowling's literary juggernaut, and eleven years after the first book was published the final adventure of Harry Potter is the most anticipated yet, although no official release date has been set. Suitably shrouded in mystery is the new offering from Dan Brown, a sequel to "The Da Vinci Code." An impending 2007 release was posted on the author's Web site, but has since disappeared. The plot thickens ... hopefully.

Sport: It's an off year in the soccer calendar, with no World Cup or European Championship, just the Copa America, the biennial South American competition to look forward to. Football-mad supporters will have to broaden their horizons to find their sporting fix. England cricket fans might need some time off from the sport after their team's dismal display in Australia this winter, but a jaunt to the West Indies for the ICC Cricket World Cup, beginning on March 11, 2007, should help them banish the memory of this year's Ashes. Not that England have performed as world-beaters at the one-day game -- Australia and South Africa top the current ICC rankings. France will play host for the first time to the Rugby Union World Cup in October, with New Zealand the hot favorite to win the tournament.

Music and more: Those less inclined to sporting pursuits might be looking forward to the launch of Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system. After teething trouble in development it will be available to the masses in January. And if that does seem like the highlight of the year, you need to get out more. Perhaps a music festival? Britain's insanely popular and usually mud-swamped music fest, Glastonbury, will return in June. From Spain to Serbia there is almost a festival every weekend during the summer months in Europe.

But if you'd rather swap music in the great outdoors for the comfort of your front room, new albums from Bjork, Bloc Party, Welsh psychedelic rockers Super Furry Animals, Arcade Fire and aging goths The Cure are all on the cards for 2007. And could the rumors be true, Guns 'n' Roses will finally release Chinese Democracy? It's an album that has been mired in the paranoid perfectionism of Axl Rose's personal life for 16 years. After such a long time in the making it should be the greatest album in the world ever. Barring any more hold ups it should be within your grasp in March. But don't hold your breath.


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Johnny Depp will return as Captain Jack Sparrow in the final "Pirates of the Caribbean" film.

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