So, if asked to rank the Avengers based on my personal preferences from the new Marvel film, that wouldn't be much of an article. Hulk, Black Widow, Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye DONE! So we decided instead to get crazy and rank the Avengers based upon the future prospects of the actors. Why? Because I DO WHAT I WANT, THOR.
From least promising to most:
7. Iron Man aka Robert Downey Jr.
Last Major Project: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Iron Man 3 (2013)
dir. Shane Black
Not to get all captain obvious, but this is the third Iron Man movie. We'll know more by Comic-Con at least, I'm sure.
Co-starring Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow and Guy Pearce.
Okay, so not much in the pipeline for Downey Jr, which automatically puts him at the bottom of the list, but let's take a closer look at what Iron Man 3 will entail, shall we? Aside from the return of Don Cheadle and Gwyneth Paltrow, the rumor mill is going cray cray with news that Ben Kingsley may become Mandarin and Jessica Chastain perhaps take on the role of a scientist rival to Tony Stark. I hope both of things are true. At the helm this time is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer/director Shane Black, who jumped onto the action scene in 1987 with his Lethal Weapon script. The general consensus is that Iron Man is in great hands with Black and with the cast shaping out the way it is, the geek world is collectively feeling pretty good about this film, but one film is one film, so Iron Man gets last place.
6. Captain America aka Chris Evans
Last Major Project: What's Your Number
The Iceman (2013)
dir. Ariel Vroman
The true story of Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer and family man
Co-starring James Franco, Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer
dir. Joon-Ho Bong
In a world covered by ice and snow, a train full of travelers struggle to coexist
Co-starring Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Alison Pill, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer
Easily the most exciting of these two upcoming films is Snowpiercer, from Joon-Ho Bong of Mother and The Host fame and it's pretty cool that Evans has the wherewithal to know this is someone he should be working with. Iceman sees Michael Shannon plays a menacing killer, which could be samey samey for him, but I always love watching him work no matter what, so Chris Evans' presence is just a cherry on top. Overall, solid, but not spectacular picks, especially compared to the rest of the list. Sorry, Cap.
5. Black Widow aka Scarlet Johansson
Last Major Project: We Bought a Zoo
Under The Skin (2012)
dir. Jonathan Glazer
An alien in human form is on a journey through Scotland
Co-starring a whole bunch of Scottish people, from the director of Sexy Beast.
dir. Sacha Gervasi
Alove story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock, and his wife and partner, Alma Reville. The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock’s seminal movie Psycho.
Co-starring Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Biel, Helen Mirren
Don Jon's Addiction (2013)
dir. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
The journey of a contemporary, porn-addicted Don Juan-type as he attempts to become less selfish
Co-starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Julianne Moore in Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut
A very diverse slate coming up from Scarlet Johansson. First up is Under the Skin, based on the novel by Scottish novelist Michael Faber, best known for his Crimson Petal and the White series. The film is shot in Scotland and stars primarily Scottish actors, and tracks the story of an alien who takes the perfect human form to snare male prey. Hitchcock, the first narrative film from Gervasi, previously known for the beloved Anvil! The Story of Anvil, has Johansson playing Janet Leigh which sounds like a hoot. But the film on her list I'm most looking forward to is Don Jon's Addiction, which marks a huge culmination for Gordon-Levitt, who has been cutting his filmmaking teeth with his company hitRECord for years and is now making the leap into using his behind the scenes talent for the big screen. Very much looking forward to this slate. Well done, Ms Romanov.
4. Thor aka Chris Hemsworth
Last Major Project: The Cabin in the Woods
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
dir. Rupert Sanders
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen
Co-Starring Charlize Theron and Kristin Stewart
Red Dawn (2012)
dir. Dan Bradley
A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers
Co-starring Adrienne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck and Isabel Lucas in this remake of the 1984 classic, from first time director Bradley, best known for second unit directing and stunts on some of the biggest action flicks of the past ten years
dir. Ron Howard
A biography of Formula 1 champion driver Niki Lauda and the 1976 crash that almost claimed his life. Mere weeks after the accident, he got behind the wheel to challenge his rival, James Hunt.
Co-starring Olivia Wilde, Daniel Bruhl and Natalie Dormer in this Oscar bait biopic from my favorite when it comes to historical fiction screenplays, Peter Morgan
Thor 2 (2013)
dir. Alan Taylor
The second installment of Thor's franchise, which will see the return of almost everyone in the original cast. Plot details have yet to be disclosed.
Co-starring Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman
Lots of potential and variety coming up for Chris Hemsworth. Red Dawn was another one of the films (alongside The Cabin in the Woods) put on the sidelines after MGM went under, and is now being distributed this November by Open Road Films. Perhaps also like Cabin in the Woods, the timing may be better now than before, as both Hemsworth and Hutcherson are now considered hot commodities. Plus you have Rush, Hemsworth first major non genre film, and coming up next, the fantastic looking Show White and the Huntsman, where Hemsworth will finally get to use his accent without also having to sound like a noble God from a universe away, which means sexy times?! Hooray! With this sort of major visibility coming up, Thor is doing juuust fine.
3. Hawkeye aka Jeremy Renner
Last Major Project: Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol
dir. James Gray
An innocent immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island
Co-starring Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
dir. Tony Gilroy
A story centered on a new CIA operative in the universe based on Robert Ludlum's novels
Co-starring Ed Norton, Rachel Weisz, Oscar Isaac, and Bourne vets Joan Allen, Albert Finney and David Strathairn
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
dir Tommy Wirkola
15 years after their traumatic gingerbread-house incident, siblings Hansel and Gretel have become a formidable team of bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world
Co-starring Gemma Arerton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare and Zoe Bell
With two Oscar nominations under his belt, as well as a kick ass turn in the fantastic fourth Mission Impossible film, Renner is well on his way to becoming a huge household name after taking over the Bourne franchise from Matt Damon later this year. The footage screened at CinemaCon contained everything audiences loved from the first three films and when Renner himself appeared, he seemed the perfect blend of genuine and grateful, but without taking any of it too seriously. Renner nabs the #3 slot on the list by being the only actor on the list whose upcoming slate interests me 100%. I'm obviously going to love grown up Hansel and Gretel as bounty hunters (oddly produced by Will Farrell) and even his drama, from director James Gray who I generally have a rather strong distate for, sounds up my alley, with its period setting, dashing magician love interest, and return of my beloved Joaquin Pheonix. It's gonna be a MAJOR year for Hawkeye, you guys.
2. Loki aka Tom Hiddleston
Last Major Project: War Horse
Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, Henry V
dir. Richard Eyre & Thea Sharrock for BBC
Part of BBC Two's Shakespeare Season, covering the entire story of Prince Hal cum King Henry as told by Shakespeare. The incredible producing team includes Sam Mendes and the cast of actors is a whose who of British vets, covering Harry Potter to Downton Abbey to Game of Thrones.
Black Wings Has My Angel
dir. Alfonso Pineda Ulloa
In Colorado, an ex-con looks to pull off an armed car robbery, aided by a call girl whom he met in a backwoods Mississippi motel
Co-starring Elijah Wood and Anna Paquin
dir. Alan Taylor
(See Chris Hemsworth)
Hold on, Hemsworth and Renner are about to be involved with multiple big budget releases, and the number two slot goes to Tom Hiddleston? Yes. Shakespeare trumps pretty much everything, especially BBC Two Shakespeare with that kind of cast, especially when the person we're talking about here is playing Prince Hal in Henry IV THROUGH HIS TRANSITION to the titular king in Henry V. It's like a freaking dream come true for a Shakespeare nut and the fact that the man for the job is Tom Hiddleston?! Gah!! What is this beautiful madness! Throw in Jeremy Irons, Simon Russell Beale, Vicerys as Edmund Mortimer, Molly Weasley as Mistress Quickley, Lady Mary Crawley as Lady Percy, Ser Jorah Mormont as the Earl of Warwick and Vernon Dursley as the Duke of Burgundy, and well, yeah, you win all of the everything.
1. Hulk aka Mark Ruffalo
Last Major Project: Shutter Island
Thanks for Sharing (2012)
dir. Stuart Blumberg
Three people undergo a 12-step treatment for sex addiction
Co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim Robbins
Now You See Me (2013)
dir. Louis Leterrier
FBI agents track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money
Co-starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco as the team of Illusionists being tracked by Ruffalo's FBI agent. Directed by big time action man Leterrier means this film unites a former Hulk director with a current Hulk!
dir. Bennett Miller
The story of John du Pont, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and killed Olympic wrestler David Schultz
Co-Starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum
Red Light Winter (2013)
dir. Adam Rapp
Two New Yorkers on vacation in Amsterdam to rekindle their friendship find their lives changed forever after a run-in with a prostitute
Co-starring Billy Crudup and Kirsten Dunst, based on the 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama
Can a Song Save Your Life? (2013)
dir. John Carney
A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan
Co-starring Hailee Steinfeld as Ruffalo's daughter
The Normal Heart (2014)
dir. Ryan Murphy
A gay activist attempts to raise HIV/AIDS awareness during the early 1980s
Co-starring Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Alec Baldwin, based on Larry Kramer's acclaimed 1985 play
Holy crap. Way to make everyone else look like a tool, Ruffalo. Out of these five projects, I'm most excited for Thanks for Sharing because the last time Ruffalo spoke Stuart Blumberg's words (in The Kids Are all Right) I fell in love with him. Plus, Pepper Potts totally has a romance with Bruce Banner! Lulz! I'm also looking forward to Can a Song Save Your Life? Despite the schmatzly title, I love John Carney (Once), Ruffalo, Halee Steinfeld, music, and love stories. Plus Judd Apatow is co-producing and Scarlet Johansson is rumored to be taking the role of the female lead. Oh yeah, all of this and Ruffalo is also most likely doing a Kenneth Lonnergan (You Can Count On Me, Margaret) play with Philip Seymour Hoffman called "Hang On To Me, Darling". Holy shit, Mark Ruffalo. You win. WAIT, HULK WINS TOO, SO HULK AND RUFFALO BOTH WIN OMG MATCHING HUSBANDS!!!