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Four Rising Stars of 2011: Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Hall, Tom Hardy

Four Rising Stars of 2011: Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Hall, Tom Hardy

Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Rebecca Hall and Michael Fassbender are four hot-as-flapjacks actors who have given Hollywood reason to expect great things. They are, so far, actors known better for their roles than their celebrity, and while 2010 was a year packed with noteworthy performances–including theirs– we expect that their best work is yet to come. Casting directors and filmmakers are throwing parts at these rising stars: here’s a preview of their 2011 slates (from flailing indies to franchise prequels, we’ve got the available stats) and why we care:

Jessica Chastain
Age: 29
KNOWN FOR: Two hyped performances in films not yet released, as a young Mossad agent in John Madden’s The Debt and Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, as well as a stage production of Salome with Al Pacino.
BEST MOMENT SO FAR: The Tree of Life trailer.
WHY WE CARE: While most of us have seen little of her, the Tree of Life trailer hints at why her upcoming slate of co-stars and directors is so impressive.

The Tree of Life [pictured]
Status: Completed, headed for Cannes, Fox Searchlight releases 27 May 2011
Director/Writer: Terrence Malick
Co-stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn
A poetic investigation of Nature vs. Grace, in which we’ll learn: “unless you love, your life will flash by.”

The Help
Status: Completed, DreamWorks/Touchstone release 12 August 2011
Director/Writer: Tate Taylor (based on Kathryn Sockett’s novel)
Co-stars: Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Viola Davis
Based on Kathryn Sockett’s novel which looks at what happens in a small Southern town when three courageous women begin an unlikely friendship.

The Debt
Status: Completed, seeking post-Miramax distribution
Director: John Madden
Writer: Matthew Vaughn
Co-stars: Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson
Chastain plays one of three Israeli Mossad agents sent on a secret mission in 1965 to capture and kill a notorious Nazi war criminal…thirty years later the saga continues and MIrren plays the older version of the character.

Take Shelter
Status: Completed, seeking distribution
Director/Writer: Jeff Nichols
Co-stars: Michael Shannon

Wilde Salome
Status: Post-production, seeking distribution
Director/Writer: Al Pacino
Pacino unravels and reinterprets Oscar Wilde’s controversial Salome, a tale of lust, greed and a woman’s scorn — inspired by the stage performance he did with Chastain.

The Fields
Status: Post-production, seeking distribution
Director: Ami Canaan Mann
Co-stars: Chloe Moretz, Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
A Texan cop and a NYC cop team up to solve some unsolved murders in the Texas bayous.

Status: Post-production, seeking distribution
Director: Ralph Fiennes
Co-stars: Gerard Butler, Ralph Fiennes, Vanessa Redgrave.
A bloody tale of Roman Hero Coriolanus, whose extreme and ugly views on the people ignite riots and result in his banishment and a plot to destroy the city in league with his sworn enemy, Tullus Aufidius…

The Wettest County in the World
Status: Pre-production at Red Wagon, seeking distribution
Director: John Hillcoat
Writer: Nick Cave (based on Matt Bondurant’s novel)
Co-stars: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf
A family drama tale of Depression-era bootlegging.

Michael Fassbender
Age: 33
KNOWN FOR: Inglorious Basterds, 300, Centurion, Fish Tank [pictured], Hunger.
BEST MOMENT SO FAR: Everything in Fish Tank, tied with everything in Inglourious Basterds.
WHY WE CARE: He’s sexy, gritty, athletic and dynamic (watch our interview).

Jane Eyre
Status: Completed, Focus Features release 11 March 2011
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Writer: Moira Buffini (based on Charlotte Bronte’s novel)
Co-stars: Mia Wasikowska, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins
Fassbender plays the iconic Mr. Rochester in Bronte’s classic novel of gothic love.

Status: Post-production, Relativity releases 22 April 2011
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Co-stars: Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Michael Angarano, Bill Paxton
A black ops soldier (referred to as ‘she’ but yet to be cast) is set up while on a mission and therefore warrants a revenge plot crammed with action and violence.

X-Men: First Class
Status: Filming, Fox releases 3 June 2011
Director Matthew Vaughn
Co-stars: Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, Oliver Platt
He plays the young Magneto in this franchise prequel.

A Dangerous Method
Status: Post-production, foreign-financed, seeking U.S. distribution
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: Christopher Hampton (based on his play)
Co-stars: Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley, Vincent Cassel
He plays Carl Jung to Mortensen’s Sigmund Freud. The story of how psychoanalysis was born.

At Swim-Two-Birds
Status: Pre-production, seeking distribution
Director/Writer: Brendan Gleeson (based on Flann O’Brien’s novel)
Co-stars: Cillian Murphy, Colin Farrell, Jonathyn Rhys Meyers, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne
A la Stranger Than Fiction, a playwright’s life becomes intertwined with the characters he has created.

Snow White and the Huntsman rumored
Status: Pre-production, planned for Universal release 21 December 2012
Co-stars: Charlize Theron as Evil Queen
Ordered to kill Snow White, a huntsman instead decides to let her go…

Status: In Working Title development, planned for 2012 release
Director/Writer: Rupert Wyatt (adapted with Abi Morgan, based on Sebastian Faulks’ novel)
Co-star: Paddy Considine

Status: Pre-production
Director/Writer: Steve McQueen
Co-star: Carey Mulligan
Fassbender plays a man-whore whose sexual escapades have to adjust themselves around his new roommate (his sister).

Untitled Jim Jarmusch Project
Status: In development, script
Director/Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Co-stars: Mia Wasikowska, Tilda Swinton

Rebecca Hall
Age: 28
KNOWN FOR: The Town [pictured], Frost/Nixon, Please Give, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Prestige, Red Riding Trilogy.
BEST MOMENT SO FAR: Checking out the allure of Javier Bardem with Scarlett Johansson in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
WHY WE CARE: She stands out for being a real girl, beautiful but not too-gorgeous, subtle and effective (oh, and she’s 5’9″).

Everything Must Go
Status: Completed, IM Global selling
Director/Writer: Dan Rush (based on Raymond Carver short story)
Co-stars: Will Ferrell, Laura Dern
Ferrell plays a relapsing alcoholic who loses wife and job and in an attempt to start over, has a yard sale. His new neighbor (Hall, we assume) gives him reason to hope.

The Awakening
Status: Post-production, seeking U.S. distribution
Director/Writer: Nick Murphy
Co-stars: Dominic West, Imelda Staunton
Set in 1921 England, a hoax exposer whose attempts to explain child ghost sightings at a boarding school begin to unravel when the ‘missing’ start to show themselves.

A Bag of Hammers
Status: Post-production, seeking distribution
Director/Writer/Producer: Brian Crano
Co-star: Jason Ritter

Liars (A-E)
Status: In turnaround from Miramax, produced by Scott Rudin
Director: Richard Linklater
While en route to President Obama’s inauguration, a recently dumped woman visits ex-boyfriends to collect her belongings.

Shadow Dancer
Status: Script
Director: James Marsh
Writer: Tom Bradby (based on his novel)
Co-star: Guy Pearce
An IRA terrorist becomes an informer for Britain’s MI5. That’s all we know.

Tom Hardy
Age: 33
KNOWN FOR: Bronson, Inception.
BEST MOMENT SO FAR: Machine gun blast in Inception.
WHY WE CARE: He has potential appeal to a huge demographic because he boasts just the right mix of charming, macho and mischievous chameleon.

Warrior [pictured]
Status: Completed, Lionsgate releases 9 September 2011
Director/Writer: Gavin O’Connor
Co-stars: Jennifer Morrison, Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton, Noah Emerich
Hardy and Edgerton (of Animal Kingdom) plays brothers at odds after alcoholic father and ex-boxer (Nolte) trains Hardy to compete in a mixed martial arts tournament. Sounds like a variation of The Fighter, but with more testosterone and less true-story appeal.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Status: In production for Working Title, seeking U.S. distrib, releases U.K. 16 September 2011
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Writer: Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan (based on John le Carre’s novel)
Co-stars: Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Mark strong
Based on the British spy novel in which espionage veteran George Smiley must uncover an M16 Soviet agent.

This Means War
Status: Post-production, Fox will release in 2011
Director: McG
Co-stars: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Chelsea Handler, Angela Bassett
Hardy fights lifelong best friend (Pine) for the woman they both love (Witherspoon). Unlike in How Do You Know, these two men might actually peak her interest (and ours).

The Dark Knight Rises
Status: Pre-production, Warner Bros. will release 20 July 2012
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan, David Goyer, Bob Kane, Jonathan Nolan
Co-stars: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
He’s rumored to play scientist villain Dr. Hugo Strange in the latest (and maybe even the greatest!) Batman movie yet.

Wettest Country in the World
(see above)

[IMDb Pro]

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