We’ve said goodbye to 2010 and saluted the Breakout Stars of the Year, now let’s turn our attention to the next crop of rising talent coming soon to a theater near you.
Some of these faces might be familiar to you, some you may have never seen before, but we think these 20 up and comers have an exciting year full of great projects that could propel them into another level in their career, some maybe even into household names! Keep an eye on the guys and girls on this list, they are going places in 2011 and beyond!
Most of the breakout thunder was stolen by the well-deserving Christoph Waltz in 2009′s “Inglourious Basterds”, but Michael Fassbender did not go unnoticed by the industry. Suddenly the prolific German actor was sought for one high profile role after the next, at one point having his pick of headlining as the villain in two hot franchise reboots: “Spider-Man” and “X-Men: First Class”. He chose “X-Men” and is set to take on the iconic villain Magneto opposite James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier in June. Before that, he’ll bring a classic character of a different sort to life: playing the mysterious Edward Rochester to Mia Wasikowska’s “Jane Eyre”.
Comedy, sci-fi, action, drama … Olivia Wilde can do it all! The next two years will be her busiest yet, as she moves away from TV dramas and supporting characters, to roles in a wide variety of films that can showcase her talents. Following well received reviews for her role in “Tron: Legacy”, Wilde can next be seen in western/sci-fi genre-bender “Cowboys and Aliens” opposite Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, indie ensemble dramedy “Butter”, sci-fi actioner “Now” with Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake, comedy “The Change Up” with Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds … take your pick!
He stole the movie – and our hearts – in one five minute opening scene of 2009′s “Star Trek” reboot, and the world is so ready to see much more of Hemsworth. That long gestating “Red Dawn” remake is finally set to release this year, but more importantly, he’ll be yielding Mjöllnir, the magical hammer of Marvel superhero and Norse God “Thor”, headlining his own solo film before joining up with the other members of “The Avengers” in 2012.
Lenny Kravitz’s daughter Zoe has positioned her career traditionally, taking supporting parts in smaller films, gradually working her way up to higher profile projects and starring roles. In 2011 she’ll hit a new plateau as she stars in her first blockbuster, “X-Men: First Class” opposite a plethora of fellow rising young stars, rebooting the classic comic characters for a new generation, and stretches her dramatic muscles in “Yelling to the Sky”, the much buzzed about feature debut from Victoria Mahoney in which Kravtiz takes the leading role that incredibly, already has (very, very) early Oscar buzz.
Pettyfer looks to hit the teen girl sweet spot with his matinee-idol good looks and bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold swagger in no less than three films targeted directly at the “Twilight” audience: “Beastly”, in which he’ll play a cocky, beautiful teen who gets knocked down a peg or two, “I Am Number 4″, in which he’ll play a cocky, beautiful alien who gets hunted, and “Now”, playing a cocky, beautiful ringleader of a gang of thugs. The girls are already swooning!
She famously, narrowly missed out on becoming Lisbeth Salander, but Emily Browning will have no problem creating a name for herself by taking on a project nearly as hotly anticipated as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”: Zack Snyder’s genre-bending violent fantasy “Sucker Punch”. Ready or not, that little girl from “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” is on the verge of becoming a sex symbol as Babydoll, who dresses as a schoolgirl fantasy, wields a samuri sword, and leads an all-girl army against fire-breathing dragons, WWII fighter planes and demon ninjas.