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Golden Globe-Winning Actors: What's Next for Portman, Firth, Leo, Bale, Bening, Giamatti

by Sophia Savage
January 19, 2011 6:35 AM
1 Comment
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Thompson on Hollywood

Heat rises when an actor enters the awards fray. Look at how Helen Mirren (The Queen), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) and Melissa Leo (Frozen River), particularly, parlayed Oscar attention into serious careers. Take a look at the slates (including soon-to-be-released, rumored, in-production and in-development projects) lined up for this year's Golden Globe-winning actors Natalie Portman, Colin Firth, Melissa Leo, Christian Bale, Annette Bening and Paul Giamatti. We start off with Portman, who has so much lined up that she risks overexposure:

Thompson on Hollywood


Natalie Portman – Best Actress (Drama) for Black Swan

No Strings Attached
Status: In theaters January 21.
The lowdown: Portman executive-produced this Ivan Reitman rom-com in which she co-stars with Ashton Kutcher and says things like, "why can't we just have sex!?"

Your Highness
Status: In theaters April 8.
The lowdown: A comedic fairytale in which James Franco and Danny McBride behave like medieval man-children and hang out with beauties Portman and Zooey Deschanel. David Gordon Green directs a script by McBride and Ben Best.

Thor
Status: In theaters May 6.
The lowdown: Kenneth Branagh directed Portman alongside Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins in this adventure-fantasy-drama based on Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby's comic.

Cloud Atlas
Status: Pre-production
The lowdown: Tom Tykwer and Lana (born Larry) Wachowski are co-directors, and they co-wrote with Andy Wachowski, who is also producing (from the brainy novel by David Mitchell). The plot follows six different yet intricately connected stories. Portman will be joined by Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and (rumored) James McAvoy and Ian McKellan.

Also In Development: Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry with Brad Pitt; Portman's Handsomecharlie Films is producing Booksmart and Best Buds.

WIND-UP: While Portman has plenty of work to show while she takes a break to have a baby, and will likely continue to produce potential acting vehicles, her upcoming projects will continue to be measured against Black Swan's success.

Thompson on Hollywood


Colin Firth – Best Actor (Drama) The King’s Speech

Main Street
Status: Premiered at Austin Film Festival last October and reportedly screened in the market at Cannes last year, there are no details on a North American release.
The Lowdown: John Doyle directed and the late Horton Foote wrote the screenplay, about a small Southern city whose lives change when a newcomer comes to save their hometown. Amber Tamblyn, Orlando Bloom, Patricia Clarkson and Ellen Burstyn co-star with Firth.

Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy
Status: Filming, in theaters September 16.
The lowdown: Based on the John le Carre novel, Tomas Alfredson directs the Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan screenplay with Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Mark Strong alongside Firth in this Cold War espionage thriller.

The Promised Land
Status: In production.
The lowdown: Michael Winterbottom directs a Laurence Coriat script, Matthew Macfadyen and Jim Sturgess co-star in this thriller set in late WW II Palestine.

Seconds of Pleasure
Status: Pre-production.
The Lowdown: Playwright Neil Labute writes and directs this drama with Brendan Fraser, Ed Harris, Kristin Scott Thomas.

Gambit (rumored)
Status: Script.
The Lowdown: The Coen brothers are re-writing the 1966 British action-comedy, and Michael Hoffman will direct the story about a man's plan to steal a painting from one of the world's wealthiest men - but he needs and gets distracted by his gambit, a beautiful woman, and his plans go awry.

WIND-UP: Firth will continue to epitomize humble British charm and masculinity while gradually eliminating all competition in the serious-leading-man-over-forty category. In short, he is a class act.

Thompson on Hollywood


Melissa Leo – Best Supporting Actress (Drama) for The Fighter

Red State
Status: Premiering at Sundance this January, then in theaters in March.
The Lowdown: A horror/thriller from writer-director Kevin Smith about Middle American fundamentalists encountered by a group of misfits. John Goodman, Michael Angarano and Kevin Pollak also star.

Seven Days in Utopia
Status: Post-production.
The Lowdown: An adaptation of David Cook's book Golf's Sacred Journey from writer-director Matt Russell, starring Robert Duvall, Lucas Black, Deborah Ann Woll and Brian Geraghty.

Francine
Status: Post-production.
The Lowdown: We don't know much writing-directing pair Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky's production. Tell us what you know. Here's an old casting notice for it.

The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
Status: In production.
The Lowdown: A comedy from writer-director Ryan O'Nan with Michael Weston, Arielle Kebbel, Wilmer Valderrama and Jason Ritter.

Truckstop
Status: In production.
The Lowdown: Writer-director-producer Rotimi Rainwater is rumored to have Jennifer Lawrence playing a troubled prostitute in this drama about a man with cerebral palsy who takes care of his father, who is dying of AIDS, and works at a Jersey Shore truck stop. Also rumored: Jackson Rathbone and Ryan Kwanten.

The Mourning Portrait
Status: In development.
The Lowdown: A hour set in 1920 Appalachia from director Paul Schattel (he also co-wrote with Patrick Green) in which a photographer with supernatural powers terrorizes a bootlegger and his daughters. Wentworth Miller, Dermot Mulroney and Diane Ladd also set to star. You can demand it here.

The Dead Circus
Status: In development.
The Lowdown: Director Adam Davenport's adaptation of John Kaye's crime-thriller novel, in which a screenwriter-cum-detective discovers a link between a one-hit wonder 1960s singer (discovered dead in his car with gasoline down his throat) and the Charles Manson murders. Michael Shannon is rumored to star.

WIND-UP: Leo's thankful to be in the rare situation of having her career take off as a middle-aged actress, and there seem to be plenty of opportunities for her to expand her range.

Thompson on Hollywood


Christian Bale - Best Supporting Actor (Drama) for The Fighter

The Dark Knight RIses
Status: In theaters July 20, 2012.
The Lowdown: Hot project. Few, if any, will be more anticipated than Christopher Nolan's third Batman film. Bale will be join by Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine. The real question is who the leading ladies will be.

The 13 Women of Nanjing
Status: Filming, releases in 2012.
The lowdown: Yimou Zhang directs Bale in a story by Heng Liu, adapted from Geling Yan's novel about the 1937 Nanjing massacre.

Untitled Nikola Tesla Project (rumored)
Status: Pre-production.
The lowdown: A Vladimir Rajcic written script about the Serbian inventor. Any relation to Bale's The Prestige (in which David Bowie appears as 'Tesla')?

Killing Pablo
Status: In development.
The lowdown: Director Joe Carnahan adapted Mark Bowden's Book ("Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw") about Colombian gangster Pablo Escobar (rumored to be played by Swiss actor Remo Vinzens, or according to this source, Carlos's Edgar Ramirez, and at one time it was Javier Bardem).

The Last Photograph
Status: Script.
The Lowdown: An adventure/drama from writers Kurt Johnstad and Zach Snyder and director Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), about two men and a photo that inspires them to go to war-torn Afghanistan.

Terminator 5 (rumored)
Status: Unknown.
The Lowdown: This James Cameron franchise disappointed with #4, so this seems unlikely unless the concept gets a total reboot.

WIND-UP: With the exception of Terminator 5, all these projects sound intriguing. Refreshingly, Bale couldn't be less of a mouth-piece mainstream franchise guy.

Thompson on Hollywood


Paul Giamatti - Best Actor (Comedy) for Barney's Version

Win Win
Status: After its Sundance premiere, in theaters March 18.
The Lowdown: Writer-director Thomas McCarthy's comedy (Fox Searchlight) places Giamatti as a struggling father/attorney/high school wrestling coach who discovers a star athlete via questionable business dealings. Melanie Lynskey, Amy Ryan and Jeffrey Tambor also star.

The Hangover Part II
Status: In theaters May 26.
The Lowdown: Due to the insatiable appetite for dumb-male comedies, Todd Phillips' The Hangover earned over $467 million worldwide and thus warrants a sequel about men acting like complete dolts. Giamatti has a cameo.

Ironclad
Status: Completed, release slated for 2011.
The lowdown: Kate Mara, Jason Flemyng, Brian Cox and Derek Jacobi also appear in this 13th century tale about the Knights Templar and King John (Giamatti) from writer-director John English (co-written by Erick Kastel, first screenplay by Stephen McDool).

John Dies at the End
Status: Filming.
The Lowdown: Don Coscarelli adapted and directs David Wong's comedic-horror novel about a drug called Soy Sauce that offers an out-of-body experience. After drifting across space and time, some users come back as no-longer human. Enter alien-invasion and two college dropouts who are the would-be heros for mankind. Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes also star.

Babylon
Status: In production.
The Lowdown: An action-drama-thriller in which a Rasta and a British minister help a kid outrun gangsters in Jamaica. Anthony Mackie co-stars, Kenny Leon directs an Ian Stone script.

The Ides of March
Status: Pre-production.
The Lowdown: George Clooney writes (with Grant Heslov), directs and will co-star along with Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Evan Rachel Wood. Based on Beau Willimon's play about dirty campaign trail politics.

Cosmopolis
Status: Pre-production.
The Lowdown: Director David Cronenberg adapted Don DeLillo's novel for this 24-hour odyssey which follows a multimillionaire around Manhattan. Rob Pattinson and Marion Cotillard co-star.

Downsizing
Status: In development.
The Lowdown: Sideways writer-director Alexander Payne uses this social satire to consider a man who believes his life would be better if he shrinks himself. Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep and Sacha Baron Cohen co-star.

Bubba Nosferatu: Curse of the She-Vampires
Status: In development.
The Lowdown: Described as a prequel to Bubba Ho-Tep, writer-director Don Coscarelli throws Elvis in the mix as Bubba finds him shooting a film in Louisiana. Oh, and there's a coven of she-vampires. Ron Perlman also stars.

WIND-UP: Flexible character actor Giamatti is free to take on both mainstream supporting and indie lead roles; hopefully some coherency and stand-out opportunities will emerge from this odd mix of projects.


Annette Bening – Best Actress (Comedy) for The Kids Are All Right
No reported projects in development for this gifted 52-year-old actress. We'd love to hear otherwise.

1 Comment

  • Steven Balo | August 26, 2013 5:51 AMReply

    Killing Pablo Project is dead or on hold. Would love to watch Remo Vinzens in it next to Bale.

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