Every year, men and women must earn their keep. If you are a lawyer, you practice law. If you are a psychiatrist, you specialize in psychiatry. If you are an actor, you act. The biggest names in Hollywood even have to pay the bills. But I get the sense that these 26 actors and actresses will not be going home empty handed this year in cinema. Below is the first part of a three-part list of the actors and actresses who are credited in the most theatrically released films in 2013.
1. James Franco
(Warning: The section about Interior. Leather Bar contains explicit content)
James Franco. It is actually amazing that this man even has time to sleep at night with the massive amount of movies he stars in this year. A few years back, people just knew him as the guy in Spider-Man. Now this Golden Globe winning (ironically, he actually won that award before Spider-Man for the TV movie, James Dean) and Academy Award nominated actor is the busiest actor in Hollywood as of 2013, starring in jaw dropping 13 films in this year alone!
Franco started off his return to the multiplexes of the world by reuniting with Spider-Man director, Sam Raimi, for The Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz: The Great and Powerful co-starring Mila Kunis (also on this list), Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz. Oz: The Great and Powerful came out in March to mixed reviews but made quite an impression on the box-office and grossed $490,296,898 worldwide. Franco went from Oz to Florida to star in the March-released wild ride of a film that was Harmony Korine’s comedy/crime film, Spring Breakers. Alongside Franco, the R-rated film cast included such former Disney stars such as Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens in very out of character role as two college girls who along with their two other friends (Rachel Korine and Ashley Benson) who rob a fast food restaurant to get money for their spring break. Most of the movie focuses on what happens on that spring break. One thing that Franco is known for is his unpredictable choice of roles. Such as, in Spring Breakers in which Franco plays a pimped out rapper/gangster with cornrows and grills. Franco gained much praise for his bizarre performance in the film. Next came Tar, a film starring Franco, Mila Kunis, Zach Braff, and Jessica Chastain (also on this list) about different points throughout 40 years of the life Pulitzer Prize winner, C.K. Williams’s all the while set to his own poems. The film is odd is for a number of reasons but the two oddest things are; (1) The film was written and directed by 11 NYU students and (2) 4 different actors play Williams with Franco playing Williams at age 40. The film has not been given a wide release, but has had already had run at the Rome Film Festival in 2012 and in March of this year at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas . Next, Franco stared in Ariel Vromen’s film, The Iceman, about Robert Kuklinski (played by Michael Shannon, who is an honorable mention on this list), the brutal, cold-blooded hit man who was also a devoted family man whose family had no idea of his real job until he was arrested in 1986. Franco plays a smaller role as one of the men that Kuklinski is fired to axe, Marty Freeman. The Iceman came out in limited released on May 3rd and expanded on May 17th.
Next week, Franco will star in what has promise to be one of the funniest movies of the year. Franco re-teams with Pineapple Express cast members, Seth Rogen and Danny McBride alongside many other big names such as Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robertson, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, Aziz Ansari, and Rihanna in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s directorial debut, the post-apocalyptic comedy, This is The End. The plot is that while at a party at Franco’s house, the apocalypse comes and Franco, Hill, Rogen, Barchuel, McBride, and Robertson are forced to camp out in Franco’s house as the outside world is pandemonium. Other stars appear in the beginning of the film and throughout the film, such as shown in the trailer, a hilariously profane Emma Watson. The fantastically funny trailers and positive early reviews prompt that this movie might be one of the most enjoyable movies of the summer. It is almost like Freaks and Geeks again with Franco, Rogen, and Segal in the same movie together. This is The End comes out this Wednesday. Then Franco will return to the screen to play the outspoken billionaire and Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner, in the biopic that follows 13 years of the life of porn star, Linda Lovelace. The film stars Amanda Seyfriend as the infamous Lovelace and Peter Sarsgaard playing her abusive husband and manager, Chuck Traynor. The film also stars Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick, and Hank Azaria. The film appeared first at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January to positive reviews. The film will open in about three weeks in a wide release on June 28th.
This year Franco will be doing more than just acting. Firstly, earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival was screened an hour in length, peculiar, little arts film that Franco participated in that was called Interior. Leather Bar. In the film, Franco alongside documentary director, Travis Mathews, try to re-imagine and recreate the deleted last 40 minutes of the hugely controversial 1980 Al Pacino film, Cruising. The last 40 minutes of Cruising were deleted because of their highly graphic homosexual explicit scenes. Although it features a few brief scenes of Franco and Mathews “recreating” some of the footage, the film is mostly according to Mathews, using the ideas “recreating the footage as a plot point to explore the process of making such a film, depicting issues such as the actors’ level of comfort or discomfort with the material, the conflict between creative freedom and censorship, and the ways in which the cinematic representation of LGBT issues and people has evolved since Cruising was originally released in 1980.” (Wikipedia). Mathews, who is an openly gay man, said that he had guessed that the deleted footage was homophobic and one reason he wanted to make Interior was to get to the bottom of it, so the movie serves even more as a documentary than it seems. This film seems like a very odd thing for Franco to do, but Franco is actually known for doing strange and unusual things on and off-screen. Franco is known as being a hugely committed and unwavering supporter for the LGBT community. Franco was thought to be homosexual for a while, but he dismissed the rumors. To read an interesting interview about it click here. This is not exactly my kind of movie, but I will say it is somewhat interesting. Franco and Mathews directed the movie. It’s reception at Sundance was that it was interesting but only appealed to a very specific group of people. To read a review click here. Due to it’s graphic nature, short length, and experimental purposes, it is unlikely this film will be released. Second, Franco will star, write and direct in his feature length debut (unless you count Interior. Leather Bar.), As I Lay Dying, which is an adaptation of the famous William Faulkner novel of the same name about a poor Mississippi family. The film also stars Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Tim Blake Nelson (who stars in six films this year with three of them starring or being directed by Franco), and in a turn for the dramatic, Danny McBride (second time starring with Franco in 2013). The film was screened at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival with mixed reactions with some critic leaning more negatively to the film. In a positive review, Hollywood Reporter praised Franco for being able to make “a devilishly difficult literary adaptation with this faithful yet cinematically vibrant version of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying . . . A rarified art film all the way, one that will divide even brainy students and specialized cinema types, this is by a long way the best of the eight features the mind-bogglingly prolific actor-director-writer has made and is, as such, a big surprise.” The film has no wide-release date, but is expected to be released later this year. Third, Franco will direct and write a film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s, Child of God. The film began filming in February of last year. It will star Franco and As I Lay Dying co-star, Tim Blake Nelson. The plot follows a loner that seems to attract violence everywhere he goes who goes to live in a cave in the mountains of Tennessee. The film has no release date yet but is expected to come out this year. Franco’s directorial career continues on into 2014 with Bukowski starring Josh Peck and Franco’s new go-to guy, Tim Blake-Nelson.
Throughout the years, the one family of filmmakers that seems to expand every year are the Coppolas. Many of the Coppola’s are very accomplished directors, writers, and actors such as Francis Ford (Oscar winning director and writer for The Godfather), Sofia (Director and Oscar winning writer for Lost in Translation), Roman (Oscar nominated writer for Moonrise Kingdom), Jason Schwartzman (actor known for Rushmore and the cult classic HBO television show, Bored to Death), and Nicholas Cage (Oscar winner for his role in Leaving Las Vegas. Dropped the name Coppola, so as not to get lumped in with his famous and extensive family) . In 2013, Roman released A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charlie Swan III with Charlie Sheen in March. Also in 2013, Sofia’s new movie, The Bling Ring with Harry Potter’s Emma Watson, will come out (coming this June). And finally in 2013, a new Coppola rises. Gia Coppola will make her directorial debut with Palo Alto, an adaptation the shorts stories of James Franco. Palo Alto is ironically (but probably the film’s title is purposely refrencing that) James Franco’s hometown.The film will star Franco, Emma Roberts (also on this list), and Val Kilmer. The film is about a group of troublemaking teens. Franco will play a character named Mr. B. IMBD says that the film is supposed to be a dark drama (sounds a bit like an oxymoron). Not much else is known about it and there is no release date, but it is set for 2013.
Franco will finish off the year with two more movies. Franco will join Olivia Wilde for the second time (will co-star in Third Person with her), Chloë Sevigny for the second time (will also star in Lovelace with her), Logan Marshall- Green and Tim Blake Nelson for a final time (also starring in As I Lay Dying and Child of God) for the drama Black Dog, Red Dog. The film is similar to Tar in the way that is directed and written by several different people (1o different people) and also in the way that it is about a famous poet’s life, in this case Stephen Dobyns (that is the film’s speculated plot). Franco is one of the ten directing and writing and is also starring in an role as a character named Leo. Not much is known about the film besides that it is probably about Dobyn’s life including such events as his transfer from journalism to poetry and the women in his life. The title of the film is taken from Dobyn’s famous book of poetry of the same name. It will also star Whoopi Goldberg. Black Dog, Red Dog has no release date currently. Lastly, Franco will star in Third Person, which will also stars Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde, Liam Neeson, Kim Basinger, Casey Affleck, and Adrien Brody. It is the story of three interlocking stories of romance going on in Rome, Paris, and New York. This movie has no release date.
Franco will be having a FAR more normal movie schedule in 2014 with 2 movies scheduled for release, which are 11 less than this year. I give Franco all the credit in the world (no matter how strange some of his films are) for having such an ambitious year with ventures not just with acting but also with directing, writing, etc.
3 already released movies (Oz: The Great and Powerful, Spring Breakers, and The Iceman) + 2 movies that have been released at film festivals (Interior. Leather Bar and Tar) + 2 movies with release dates (This is The End and Lovelace) + 5 movies without release dates (As I Lay Dying, Palo Alto, Third Person, Child of God, and Black Dog, Red Dog) = 13 movies in total for 2013
2. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde. The gorgeous, talented, and extremely likable actress broke into mainstream Hollywood after her role in TRON: Legacy and her role on the hit TV show, House M.D. Wilde has been in many movies in the past few years starring in such films as Cowboys and Aliens, The Change-Up, In Time (seriously underrated, In Time is a great movie), and Butter (also underrated, Butter is a hilarious movie and an intresting study of the effect competion has on people). Like Paul Giamatti, Wilde stars in 9 movies this year. Wilde is one busy woman. Wilde started off the year in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. This magician comedy starring Steve Carrel, Steve Buscemi, Wilde, Alan Arkin (honorable mention on this list) and Jim Carrey (honorable mention on this list), was generally negatively received (aside from praising of Arkin and Carrey’s performances) and did badly at the box office. I still wanted to see this movie, but my optimism towards the film was definitely deterred by all of the negative reception. I went to see it and the first 30 minutes were pretty clichéd and boring, but then something magical happened. It got better. Wonderstone was a very funny, clever, and entertaining movie that did not deserve all of it’s negative reception. I especially enjoyed Carrey’s performance as Criss Angel-esque street magician, Steve Gray and Wilde’s performance as Jane, an aspiring magician and Wonderstone’s former assistant. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone came out this March and comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 25th. If you did not see it in theaters, I highly suggest giving the film a watch on DVD.
Next, Wilde will go on to star in Drinking Buddies, a romantic dramedy co-starring Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston and New Girl’s, Jake Johnson. This movie is an example of the range that a director can show seeing as the film’s director, Joe Swanberg directed the found-footage horror film, V/H/S and at the current age of 30 has directed nearly 20 movies. Drinking Buddies tells the story of two fellow workers at a micro-brewery in Chicago, who both has romantic feelings for each other although they are both in relationships with other people. The plot seems a bit tired to me, but reviews of the film after it screened at the SXSW festival were positive saying that the film boosted a strong cast and showed interesting relationships and sexual tension between characters. Another thing that both surprised me and made me want to see this movie more was when I read that Joe Swansberg worked without a script by choice and that the movie is almost 100 % improvised by Wilde, Kendrick, Livingston, and Johnson. To read more about that click here. Drinking Buddies comes out July 25th. In an odd role considering Wilde’s popularity, Wilde is credited on IMBD as playing “Girl in club“ in British director, Simon P. Edward’s independent film, Beneath a Neon Tide. The film follows a young man named Andy (played by Tom Grace) whose life begins to crumble. After the death of his much loved grandmother, Andy’s parents send Andy away from the city he lives to live with his uncle David (Mark Ivan Benfield) in the English coast. Andy begins working at a local movie theater, which his uncle manages. After doing a bit of research, I found that this film is a fully independent British film and on website Sponsume.com (which is similar to Kickstarter) in December of 2012, the crew managed to get enough funding to make this movie happen. I am unsure to how they got someone as big as Wilde and why she has such a small role. Beneath a Neon Tide is scheduled to come out in Britain on September 10th and it is unclear weather it will be released in the USA. To read more about the film click here.
In a much larger role, Wilde will star in the Ron Howard’s film about Austrian Formula 1 champion race car driver, Niki Lauda’s (played by Daniel Brühl who starred as Zoller in Inglourious Basterds) crash that almost claimed his life in 1976 and how only three weeks later, Lauda got back behind the wheel to race his British rival racer, James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). This movie excites me for four reasons. The first reason is that after seeing Basterds, I wondered “Why has Daniel Brühl not been in a lot of movies since Basterds? He was amazing!” but now Brühl is back and seemingly better than ever in a starring role. I just hope he will deliver a good performance. Second, both Hemsworth and Wilde are going out of their comfort zones. Hemsworth is going of his comfort zone firstly, by playing a British man and attempting an accent (which from the trailer sounds fairly authentic) and secondly, Hemsworth has now been lumped into the action genre with Thor and The Avengers. This movie gives Hemsworth a chance to show some range. Wilde is going out of her comfort zone by playing Hunt’s first wife, Suzy Miller, who is also British. In the trailer she can also be seen rocking a British accent. Third, this film has a very interesting plot. Movies about NASCAR have been tackled before, but a movie about Formula 1 racing is something new and the story of Lauda is a fascinating one that I believe deserves to be seen outside of those who are familiar with Formula 1. The last reason this movie excites me is that it is directed by Ron Howard. Ron Howard has proved time and time again that he is a wonderful director who can take a movie into his capable hands and make it great. Rush speeds into theaters on September 20th. Next Wilde will star in one of my most anticipated movies of 2013, Spike Jonze’s Her. With his last theatrical release being Where The Wild Things Are in 2009, quirky and whimsical Spike Jonze returns to screens with his fourth film and writing debut (most of his previous films were written by Charlie Kaufman). Her tells the story of a lonely writer named Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) who starts a relationship with his new computer system that is designed to meet his every need. This odd film also stars Amy Adams (also on this list), Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, and Wilde. As a fan of Jonze’s works, I cannot wait for the film’s release on November 20th.
Wilde will star in four more movies in 2013 that are without a release date for now. The first of which is Better Living Through Chemistry. The film is about a normal pharmacist whose boring life begins to spins out of control when he begins an affair with a one of his customers who is a trophy wife. The film stars Sam Rockwell, Michelle Monaghan, Ray Liotta, and Wilde. It is expected to come out later this year. Wilde will then star in Relanxious with her fiancé, Jason Sudeklis along with fellow SNL cast member, Fred Armisen and also Brie Larson. The film follows a woman who is subject to anxiety attacks who falls for a similar nervous man who suffers from the anxiety disorder agoraphobia. This film boosts a small but wonderful cast and an interesting plot, so I am excited for it’s release. Relanxious is planned to come out later this year. As mentioned earlier, Wilde will star in two movies with James Franco. The first of which is Black Dog, Red Dog, a movie speculated to be about the life of poet, Steven Dobyns. Wilde plays a character named Sunshine. Lastly, Wilde will star in Third Person with Franco and Mila Kunis. Wilde will play a character named Anna.
Olivia Wilde is making a name for herself in Hollywood and I give her major credit for it. I hope to be seeing her in the future in as movies as she is this year. And I will not forget to mention that Jason Sudeklis is one lucky guy.
1 released movie (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) + 4 upcoming movies with release dates (Rush, Beneath a Neon Tide, Drinking Buddies, and Her) + 4 upcoming movies without release dates (Relanxious, Third Person, Black Dog, Red Dog, and Better Living Through Chemistry) = 9 movies in total for 2013
3. Paul Giamatti
Paul Giamatti, the gifted actor who broke into mainstream with such movies as Sideways, Big Fat Liar, Saving Private Ryan, and Cinderella Man, in which he gave an unforgettable Academy Award nominated performance, is the second most recurrent actor this year with a whopping 8 movies (not including a rumored role in the film, Prey) in 2013 alone.
Giamatti is apparently not one to take a break, seeing as he is currently filming The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Giamatti’s first role this year is in the upcoming Cannes screened, live action/animated adult science fiction film, The Congress, in an unnamed role. The Congress has no set release date in the USA yet but is rumored to be getting a July release. Giamatti will then voice an animated snail in the new DreamWorks movie, Turbo, alongside such names as Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Pena, Bill Hader (also on this list) and Snoop Dogg (or Lion, whatever the hell you want to call him). Turbo comes out July 17th. Then. Giamatti will portray Friar Lawrence in the newest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet comes out July 26th.
Skipping ahead to the winter months, Giamatti will star alongside Paul Rudd as a French Canadian Christmas tree salesman in Almost Christmas. Almost Christmas has no release date yet. Next, Giamatti will star alongside Emma Thompson, who plays P.L. Travers (the author of Mary Poppins), and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks, the story of the production behind Mary Poppins. Saving Mr. Banks comes out on December 20th. Joining another person on this list (Benedict Cumberbatch), Giamatti will star in the historical drama, 12 Years A Slave, which also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor in the main role and Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch (as previously mentioned), and Beast of The Southern Wild stars, Dwight Henry and Quvenzhané Wallis. 12 Years A Slave will be released on December 27th.
Finally, Giamatti can also be seen in the JFK assassination film, Parkland, along with Zac Efron, Colin Hanks, and Billy Bob Thorton and will as well star in the mystery, Destino, with Djimon Hounsou and Jake Abel. Both have no release dates. Paul Giamatti deserves a vacation after this year is up.
6 live action movies (12 Years A Slave, Almost Christmas, Saving Mr.Banks, Romeo and Juliet, Parkland, and Destino) + 1 animated movie (Turbo)+ 1 live action/animated movie (The Congress) + 1 rumored role (Prey) = 9 movies in total for 2013
4. Bill Hader
In my opinion, Bill Hader is one of the funniest men currently living. His announcement of his departure from Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago, with his final episode (the Season 38 finale with host Ben Affleck and musical guest, Kanye West) airing in May, was sudden but expected. Even though I am sad to see him go, Hader had a great run on SNL and has enough talent to do well in TV and movies. In fact, Hader has already starred in many movies. But I never thought that he would be in more movies in one year than both Morgan Freeman and Robert DeNiro!
This is a good year for Hader and it started off with a turn for the very random with a credit for Additional Voices in Star Trek Into Darkness. The only other famous person, who I have ever seen credited for additional voices before was just as random with director Guillermo Del Toro, getting credit for Additional Voices in the 007 disaster, Quantum of Solace. I am not quite sure what Additional Voice means (maybe he is making blaster noises in the background or perhaps providing the sound of Zachary Quinto sneazing), but I give him kudos for managing to land a credit in a major movie. Star Trek Into Darkness is in theaters now.
As mentioned, Hader lends his voice along with Paul Giamatti for Turbo. Next, Hader will star alongside Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Johnny Simmons (The Perks of Being A Wallflower), and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) in the indie comedy, The To Do List. The To Do List comes out July 26th. In the fall months, Hader will join Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy in one of the cleverest movie ideas in a while, the two-part drama, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. It is the story of a married couple’s relationship with one movie as told by the wife (Jessica Chastain) and one movie told by the husband (James McAvoy). Bill Hader will star in both in a currently unnamed role. Both The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers come out on September 13th.
Hader will once again lend his voice to the plucky hero, Flint Lockwood in the sequel to surprise critical (I was one of the many who was pleasantly surprised by the first) and box office success, Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 will serve itself into theaters in 3D and conventional format on September 27th. Lastly, Hader is set with Kristen Wiig and Luke Wilson in the comedy, The Skeleton Twins, as one half of the film’s twins . Two of the movies Hader is in this year (Cloudy 2 and The Skeleton Twins) and many of his previous movies include fellow SNL alumni as Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg. There is no release date, but it is expected to come out this year. I am proud to see Bill Hader on this list.
4 live action movies (The To-Do List, The Skeleton Twins, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers) + 2 animated movies (Turbo and Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2) + additional voice crediting (Star Trek Into Darkness) = 7 movies in total for 2013
5. Robert De Niro
It is no surprise Robert De Niro is in such high demand. I think he is one of the greatest actors of all time. 2012 was a good year for De Niro with a great performance in Silver Linings Playbook. With someone like De Niro in the cinema game, you can expect an influx of movies starring him. Much like someone else on this list, Morgan Freeman (who ironically stars in Last Vegas with De Niro), De Niro always does a knockout job in whatever movie he is in, but he has been in many bad movies. It is like a pattern. Reunion movie. Action movie. Cop movie. Surprisingly good drama. The umpteenth Meet The Parents movie, etc. This year is a mix though. There are some movies that De Niro has coming up that look great and some that well…don’t. De Niro’s first 2013 movie was the ensemble cast romantic comedy, The Big Wedding, and it was not pretty. Although it had a great cast comprised of Diane Keaton, Robin Williams (also one this list), Amanda Seyfried, Susan Sarandon, etc., it got terrible reviews and was not a hit at the box office.
But Robert De Niro never gives up! His newest film is called Killing Season. This film excites me because of its plot and cast. Killing Season is about an American Bosnian War veteran (De Niro) who retreats to the Appalachian Mountains to forget painful memories of the war. When living in the mountains he begins a seemingly unlikely relationship with a European man (John Travolta) visiting the mountains. The veteran then finds out that his new “friend” is really a former Serbian soldier set on revenge. They then begin a one-on-one fight in the mountainous terrain. This film won the 2008 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition and got many studios excited. I am looking forward to it. Killing Season is coming out in limited release on July 12th. He will star in The Family, the newest Luc Beeson movie, with Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, and Glee star Dianna Agron co-starring alongside De Niro. The Family is the story of a mob family put into a witness protection service in Normandy. It will be released on September 20th. In a turn of events that could be great or a disaster comes Last Vegas. Think The Hangover meets Stand Up Guys meets RED. The story of four, 60-something year old friends (De Niro, Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas, and Morgan Freeman) who have a bachelor party in Vegas when the last of them gets married (Douglas). Last Vegas comes out November 1st.
De Niro has two other very interesting movies, which have no release date. The Comedian is currently in production, scheduled to release this year, stars De Niro and Kristen Wiig (also on this list) and directed by Sean Penn. It is about an aging comedian who is charged by the police for assaulting an audience member. I think this movie has potential and hope to see it in theaters this year. It also will not be the first time De Niro plays a comedian ergo The King of Comedy. To end the long list of De Niro films this year comes Motel. John Cusack plays the lead as a criminal awaiting the arrival of his boss (De Niro) at a sketchy hotel after murdering many men and being in possession of a mysterious bag. Motel will come out in late 2013.
4 live action movies with release dates announced (The Big Wedding, The Family, Last Vegas, and American Hustle) + 3 live action movies with no release date announced (The Comedian, Motel, and Killing Season) = 7 movies in total for 2013
6. Kristen Wiig
Former SNL cast members must be doing something right because they are taking over this list. Funny woman Kristen Wiig has already done very well in the film industry with many film roles and an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay already under her belt. It has been two years since her departure from SNL; Wiig has showed no sign of slowing down. This year alone she will star in seven movies. Wiig will start the year animated with a voice role as an anti-villain agent in Despicable Me 2 (Wiig will not be playing the same character she voiced in the first Despicable Me) with yet another person on this list, Steve Carell. Despicable Me 2 comes out in 3D and conventional format on July 3rd.
Wiig will star in the comedy, Girl Most Likely, about failing playwright Imogene, who stages her own false suicide to win her ex boyfriend back but instead becomes custody of her gambling addicted mother (Annette Bening). The movie also stars Matt Dillon and Darren Criss. Girl Most Likely comes out on July 19th.
Skipping ahead to the winter months, Wiig will once again join Steve Carell and an honorable mention on this list, Jim Carrey, for the sequel to the hilarious Will Ferrell movie, Anchorman. Wiig’s role is as Brick Tamlad (Steve Carell’s riotous mentally handicapped weather man) wife! Yah remember at the end of the first movie when the narrator says, “Brick is now married with 13 children”, that wife. That is a role I am looking forward to. Anchorman: The Legend Continues comes out December 20th, so until then “Stay classy, San Diego.” Next, Wiig will star in Ben Stiller’s return from a leave of absence, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a comedy about a daydreaming magazine photo manager (Stiller), who embarks on a real adventure, based on the short story of the same name. Wiig’s character has yet to be named. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty comes out December 25th, merely 5 days after Anchorman 2 hits theaters.
Wiig has three other 2013 projects without release dates. As stated in Bill Hader’s section, Wiig will star in The Skeleton Twins, as the second half of the film’s twins along with Hader as her brother and Luke Wilson in an unspecific role. As also stated in Robert DeNiro’s section, Wiig will also star in The Comedian. Not much is known about the film besides its leads and the basic plot, so there is no real info on Wiig’s character. The last film with no release date that Wiig is set to star in is Hateship, Loveship. Hateship, Loveship is about an out-of-control teenage girl who begins a romance with her nanny and recovering addict father. It will also star Hailee Steinfeld, Guy Pearce, and Nick Nolte. Let’s hope that all of these movies are successful.
1 animated movie (Despicable Me 2) + 3 live action movies with release dates (Girl Most Likely, Anchorman: The Legend Continues, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) + 3 live action movies with no release dates (The Skeleton Twins, The Comedian, and Hateship, Loveship)
7. John Goodman
John Goodman. This man was the talk of the town last year starring in four movies with 2 of his four movies doing well at the award shows (Argo winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes and Flight getting a Best Screenplay nomination at the Academy Awards. This man first proved himself as a great actor with roles in numerous Coen Brothers’ movies and from then on has continued to do so. By coincidence, Goodman’s first movie of 2013 actually came out today. The third and final Hangover movie has released to bad reviews and surprisingly underperformed due the release of Fast and Furious 6 on the same day. I found the film to be alright ending to the Hangover movies and it had it’s moments, but was all in all kind of boring and unfunny. But I give the writers major credit for making a story that was different from the first two films. Goodman has a small role as a drug-lord named Marshall who once again (you guessed it) kidnaps Doug (Justin Bartha). The Hangover Part III stars another person on this list, Bradley Cooper.
Goodman’s next movie is the Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn vehicle, The Internship. The Internship is about two salesmen who take an internship at Google with high hopes of getting higher and higher up in the company by starting with the internship. They compete with many smarter and younger teenagers at the program. Goodman plays Vaughn’s and Wilson’s boss. The Internship came out 2 days ago. Goodman’s next role will be a return to voice James P. Sullivan in the prequel to the beloved and brilliant Pixar film, Monsters, Inc. The prequel, Monsters University, tells the story of how Sully and Mike met in college. I have no shame in saying although I am already into my teenage years, in act of nostalgia, I will absolutely see this movie. Monsters University comes out on June 21st in 3D and conventional format.
Skip ahead to winter and Goodman will star in Inside Llewyn Davis (one of my most anticipated movies of the year). The new Coen Brothers’ film stars Drive’s Oscar Isaac is as a folk singer/songwriter making his way through the NYC folk music scene. Inside Llewyn Davis will have Goodman as what looks like a record company representative, but it is not official what character he plays. Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, and Garrett Hedlund also star. Inside Llewyn Davis comes out December 6th. Next, Goodman will appear in The Monuments Men, directed, written, produced, and starring George Clooney. Other cast members include Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, and Jean Dujardin. In one of the most interesting movies that will come out this year, The Monuments Men is set during World War 2 and is about an Allied group responsible for saving art and other culturally important things from Hitler and the Nazis’ reach. (IMDb). Goodman has an unnamed supporting role. The Monuments Men comes out December 18th. “Hey, neighbor” it’s a good year for you.”
1 already released live action movie (The Hangover Part III) + 3 upcoming live action movies (The Intership, Inside Llewyn Davis, and The Monuments Men) + 1 upcoming animated movie (Monsters University) = 5 movies in total for 2013
8. Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman, another one of the greatest actors of our time. You might be beginning to recognize a pattern. Freeman is in many movies each year with three of his five movies coming out within the span of less than 2 months. My opinion of Freeman is the movie could be a complete stinker but I will have walked out of it liking it at least a little because of Freeman’s performance. Morgan Freeman shines in every film is a philosophy that I believe in maybe even live by. Freeman started off 2013 with the White House action flick, Olympus has Fallen, which came out in late March. Freeman played the Speaker of the House turned acting president when the president is kidnapped with an ensemble cast with other stars such as Gerard Butler as a John McClane-esque Secret Service agent and Aaron Eckhart as The President. The movie opened to mixed reviews and a strong box office opening. Freeman has a wonderful appearance in more of a cameo role (but got second billing on the poster) in Tom Cruise’s Oblivion, which came out in early April. Freeman plays Malcolm Beech, a 105-year old man who is the leader of the human resistance. Oblivion got mixed reviews and did well at the box office. Although it was not completely original and was somewhat confusing, I enjoyed Oblivion very much with what I thought was a good story, mind blowing visuals and good performances from Cruise and Freeman. Next Friday, the magician/heist movie, Now You See Me opens in theaters . Freeman joins a huge and talented cast as a character named Thaddeus Bradley. The cast includes Jesse Eisenberg Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco as the magicians and Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent in supporting roles as two agents, one F.B.I. and one Interpol, who try and track down the magicians and figure out how they are pulling off their heists during their shows.
As mentioned earlier, Freeman stars in Last Vegas this November. Next, Freeman stars in The Last Knights, also with Clive Owen. The story is of a group of warriors who seek revenge for the death of their master at the hands of a corrupted emperor. Japanese music video director, Kazuaki Kiriya, directs the film as his first English film (previously directed, wrote and produced two Japanese films). The Last Knights has no release date but is intended to come out in 2013. Actors such as Morgan Freeman need to be treasured while they are still living, so I say the more movies Freeman is in, the better.
2 already released live action movies (Olympus Has Fallen and Oblivion) + 2 upcoming live action movies (Now You See Me and Last Vegas) + 1 live action movie with no release date (The Last Knights) = 5 movies in total for 2013
9. Benedict Cumberbatch
(Warning: Star Trek Into Darkness spoiler)
To be quite honest, it is almost impossible for Benedict Cumberbatch to be any better than he is in Sherlock. This man is extremely talented. On the other hand, the fact he is spreading his talent around in places other than Britain is also a plus, and there is always room for improvement. I was surprised to learn the Cumberbatch will star in five movies in 2013 alone! Cumberbatch most recently starred as John Harrison/Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek Into Darkness. I found the twist of Cumberbatch’s character being Khan obvious and a little unnecessary, but Cumberbatch delivered a great performance.
Next, Cumberbatch will star in one of the most controversial movies of 2013, The Fifth Estate, where Cumberbatch will play Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the film will show the story of the site and its founders. Julian Assange calls the film a “serious propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the integrity of its staff, and as a ‘lie built upon a lie’,” and it was “fanning the flames for war on Iran” after reading the script. But with a documentary about Wikileaks coming out this week and the interesting story of the site and of the creator, I am looking forward to The Fifth Estate, which hits theaters on October 11th.
Cumberbatch can then be seen in the film adaptation of the play, August: Osage County, starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, and Chris Cooper with Cumberbatch as “Little” Charles Aiken. August: Osage County comes out November 8th. Seeming as he appears in The Fifth Estate, just refer to it August: Assange County. In perhaps his best known appearance of the year, Cumberbatch will briefly reprise his bit motion capture role in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as The Necromancer, but much more importantly will also do the motion capture for the dragon, Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Being a fan of the books as a child, Cumberbatch was surprised and excited for this role. A small hint as to what is to come was shown as the last scene in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but I am still curious and I am still excited to see how it showcases Cumberbatch’s motion capture as a dragon. Cumberbatch reunites with Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman for the second part of The Hobbit. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will arrive in theaters on December 13th much to the delight of Tolkien fans (myself being one) in 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D, HFR 3D, HFR IMAX 3D, and conventional format. Cumberbatch’s last venture of the year as mentioned earlier is 12 Years A Slave as a character named William Ford. Benedict Cumberbatch is an actor who I hope I will come to stay. Many a Sherlock fan will satisfy there thirst for the show during its yearly break between seasons by seeing Cumberbatch on the big screen.
1 released live action movie (Star Trek Into Darkness) + 4 upcoming live action movies including one motion capture role (The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and 12 Years A Slave) = 5 movies in total for 2o13
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article which will showcase more actors dominating this year in movies. Part 2 will come out anytime within the next two days.