Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Comes Next?

The 2013 Oscar season is in the history books and it's time to move on.  But the lure and obsessing continues.  An Oscar nomination (and even better, a statue) can mean huge things for both budding and established talent.  How do you follow that up?  Here's a look at the 2013 winners and what they have in store for us.

McConaughey in Interstellar
"Alright, alright, alright," Matthew McConaughey's personal hero may be himself ten years in the future, but he's without question in the prime of his (comeback) career now.  With an Oscar win for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club and a potential Emmy on the way for his work on the just ended, zeigeist-y HBO series True Detective (which nearly broke the internet with its conclusion this past weekend), the once Kate Hudson-cohort will next be on screen in Christopher Nolan's eagerly awaited Interstellar.  The plot details are still tight-lipped (as Nolan does), but McConaughey co-stars alongside Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck and nearly half of SAG in the film due in theaters this November.  Beyond that, there's the rumored Magic Mike 2 and more chasing.  Leonardo DiCaprio scored some of the best reviews of his life in The Wolf of Wall Street (which McConaughey, incidentally, had a small role in) and constant "give him an Oscar" memes after losing his fourth acting bid, but he's taking his time it appears-- he has The Ballad of Richard Jewell in development which might re-team the actor with Wolf co-conspirator Jonah Hill in the true story of a security guard falsely vilified after discovering a bomb at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta; that film appears a few year away at the least but Captain Phillips scribe Billy Ray was recently signed to write the screenplay.  BAFTA winner Chiwetel Ejiofor is currently filmming Z for Zachariah, a science fiction drama based on the novel by Robert C. O'Brien alongside Wolf of Wall Street's Margot Robbie and Chris Pine, directed by Craig Zobel (Compliance) and has signed on for John Hillcoat's Triple Nine alongside Oscar-winner Kate Winslet and Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan.  Bruce Dern, now a two-time Oscar nominee will follow his Cannes-winning turn in Nebraska with a role in the thriller Cut Bank opposite Liam Hemsworth, John Malkovich and Billy Bob Thornton, while the always light on his feet Christian Bale will follow his surprise American Hustle nod portraying Moses in Ridley Scott's biblical epic Exodus, due in theaters this Christmas.  Bale is also set for Knight of Cups, Terrence Malick's latest something-something as well as the still Untitled Terrence Malick Project, however we'll believe it when we see it.

Streep goes Into the Woods
"The world is round, people," Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett spoke when accepting the prize for her work in Blue Jasmine, rousing the crowd and the industry about the dearth of female centered movies.  Yet on paper, her post-Oscar choices seem like pleasant exceptions to the present rule.  The actress completed filming the live-action take of Cinderella where she plays the evil stepmother for director Kenneth Branagh and is scheduled to team up again with her I'm Not There director Todd Haynes for the lesbian drama Carol with Rooney Mara based on Patricia Highsmith's novel.  In between, somehow, she found the time to partake in both upcoming Malick films Knight of Cups and the Untitled Terrence Malick Project (along with Lead Actor nominee Christian Bale), voice a role for the upcoming How to Train Your Dragon 2, appear in a shot or two for Peter Jackson's (hopefully final) The Hobbit: There and Back Again and star opposite Catherine Keener and James Badge Dale in David Mamet's Blackbird...whew!  18-time Oscar nominee and 3-time winner Meryl Streep is also quite busy with roles in the drama The Homesman directed by and co-starring her Hope Springs co-star Tommy Lee Jones, the Philip Noyce sci/fi drama The Giver opposite Jeff Bridges, Alexander Skarsgard and, ahem, Taylor Swift and the Brit period piece Suffragette.  Oh, and she'll sing again as The Witch in Rob Marshall's take on the Stephen Sondheim classic Into the Woods, due out this Christmas...please Mr. Marshall, don't screw that one up!  5-time nominee and perennial Oscar bridesmaid Amy Adams is another busy one-- she appears next in the drama Lullaby opposite Garrett Hedlund, hopes to court Oscar yet again with Big Eyes, Tim Burton's biographical drama of artist Margaret Keane and reprises her role of Lois Lane in the Untitled Superman-Batman Project, due in 2016.  By contrast, Gravity nominee and past Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock is keeping a lower profile with a voice role in the Despicable Me spin-off The Minions and a rumored second outing of The Heat on the horizon and Oscar-winner Judi Dench has signed up for another stay in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2.

Cooper in Untitled Cameron Crowe Film
Eclectic and versatile as always, 12 Years a Slave nominee Michael Fassbender seems hellbent to make another Dolby Theater appearance sooner or later.  Some of the mountains of projects he is attached to include the Sundance oddity Frank, in which he adorns a giant head, the western Slow West, a second time-at-bat as Magneto in Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past, and potentially co-starring with fellow 2013 alumni Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett in the Untitled Terrence Malick Project for Terrence Malick- of course, one never knows much about Terrence Malick joints, or who will end up on the cutting room floor.  Most intriguingly, at least on the awards front, perhaps may come in the currently filming Macbeth, where Fassbender plays the title character opposite Oscar winner Marion Cotillard; the Weinstein Company has already picked up the film due in theaters next year.  2-time nominee Bradley Cooper is set to appear in the Untitled Cameron Crowe Project this December opposite Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams and lends his voice to this summer's Guardians in the Galaxy.  And then there's that little matter of Serena, the period drama Cooper shot all the way back in 2012 with Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle co-star Jennifer Lawrence-- long delays are usually a sign of trouble, but there's perhaps hope that Suzanne Bier's Depression-era flick may finally rear its head in theaters this year.  2-time Oscar nominee Jonah Hill-  yep, still can't use to it- has a full plate of films ahead.  Firstly, he's re-teaming with Channing Tatum for 22 Jump Street, a sequel to the surprise 2012 sleeper, the drama True Story opposite James Franco and Felicity Jones, lending his voice to How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Sausage Party, in pre-production on the comedy Good Time Gang opposite Mark Wahlberg and may re-team with Leonardo DiCaprio in title role of The Ballad of Richard Jewell; perhaps Oscar nod#3 is not so far behind.  While Fassbender, Cooper and Hill all have full post-Oscar plates, Dallas Buyers Club Oscar winner(and selfie photobomber) Jared Leto and Captain Phillips' Barkhad Abdi have yet to commit to any post-awards season projects as of yet.

Lawrence in Serena
Lupita Nyong'o's Oscar-win for 12 Years a Slave provided perhaps the most emotional moment on this years telecast, yet despite a Change.org petition urging Marvel to cast the actress as Storm, there's nothing next on her plate, though Non-Stop is currently in theaters for anyone in need of a quick fix.  Nebraska nominee June Squibb is sticking to television at the moment with roles on shows like Girls and The Millers, but has no future feature films roles for the time being.  Same goes for Julia Roberts, who will court Emmy voters with the HBO TV movie The Normal Heart where she plays polio victim Emma Brookner for her Eat Pray Love director Ryan Murphy-- it will air this May.  Blue Jasmine nominee Sally Hawkins, however, has plenty of roles coming up on the silver screen-- starting with a supporting part in Jesse Eisenberg's twisty thriller The Double, which earned good reviews at Toronto last year, a leap into tentpole territory with this summer's Godzilla reboot for director Gareth Edwards opposite Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche and Aaron Taylor-Johnson and as Mrs. Brown in the live action/animation hybrid Paddington, in theaters this Christmas.  Then there's Jennifer Lawrence, already an Oscar-winner and mega-mega movie star, who appears busy until the end of time.  She's got two major franchises-- X-Men: Days of Future Past, where she'll again appear as Mystique opposite fellow 2013 awards season alum Michael Fassbender and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2, of which is currently filming.  Then there's the title role in Serena opposite Bradley Cooper, which has been teasing audiences for two years now and rumored projects that appear to double by the day.  It's hard not to love Lawrence, but she's exhausting.    

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