Coming attractions for 2013
The red carpet at the former Kodak Theatre — now the Hollywood & Highland Center — hasn’t even been rolled up, and Hollywood is already buzzing about next year’s Oscar race.
Will Steven Spielberg’s long-planned “Lincoln’’ get more awards traction than “War Horse,’’ which seemed like a slam-dunk to dominate last night’s Oscars a year ago? His latest has been in the works for so many years that Liam Neeson was originally slated to play the Great Emancipator, a role now taken by Daniel Day-Lewis, with fellow Oscar-winner Sally Field as his wife, Mary.
Leonardo DiCaprio certainly seemed like a shoo-in for “J. Edgar’’ on paper, at least before the Hoover biopic got shut out for this year’s nominations. He’ll try again by starring in the fifth screen version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic “The Great Gatsby,’’ joining Carey Mulligan under the direction of Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge’’). In 3-D this time, no less.
It’s anybody’s guess whether the latest untitled film from reclusive filmmaking genius Terrence Malick — apparently some sort of romantic drama with Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams — will actually materialize in 2012 or arrive years behind schedule like Malick’s “The Tree of Life.’’
Oscar prognosticating this far out is a high-risk proposition — Tom Hanks’ “Larry Crowne’’ was on this list last year, when nobody in this country, except, possibly, Harvey Weinstein had heard of a little black-and-white picture called “The Artist.’’
Keeping that in mind, here’s a far from definitive list of the other possible contenders at the 2013 Oscar ceremonies:
* “Kill Bin Laden’’ — Kathryn Bigelow’s fact-inspired thriller, a follow-up to her Oscar-winning “The Hurt Locker,’’ will arrive with another title. It’ s already generated reams of controversy, with a threatened congressional investigation into whether the White House provided access to classified documents detailing the work of operatives who went after the late al Qaeda leader. The cast includes Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong and Chris Pratt.
* “The Dark Knight Rises’’ — Having created a furor by snubbing “The Dark Knight’’ for Best Picture, can the academy possibly ignite more fanboy ire by ignoring its almost certain-to-be-more-popular sequel set eight years later, when Batman (Christian\ Bale) battles terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy)?
* “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” — Peter Jackson’s entire “Lord of the Rings’’ trilogy got Best Picture nominations, with “The Return of the King’’ winning. After several false starts, Jackson is at the helm of this prequel depicting earlier adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) with Ian McKellen and several other “Rings’’ actors returning.
* “Les Misérables” — Big-budget adaptations of long-running Broadway musicals are often Oscar magnets, unless they’re nonstarters like “The Phantom of the Opera” or “Rent.’’ This one has Hugh Jackman as Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert, Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Sacha Baron Cohen as Thénardier.
* “The Surrogate’’ — The only one of these I’ve actually seen looks like it could go all the way on Oscar night. John Hawkes (a Best Supporting Actor winner for “Winter’s Bone’’) knocks it out of the park in this fact-based story about a severely handicapped, 38-year-old man determined to lose his virginity with the help of a surrogate (Helen Hunt). Directed by Ben Lewin, who, like the protagonist, is handicapped because of polio.
* “Django Unchained’’ — Rewriting history once again, Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds’’) tackles the pre-Civil War South with Leonardo DiCaprio as a plantation owner who pits his slaves in death duels just for fun. Django (Jamie Foxx) escapes, with Samuel L. Jackson tasked with recapturing him.
* “Anna Karenina’’ — Keira Knightley plays the doomed title courtesan in a new version of the Tolstoy classic from her “Atonement’’ director Joe Wright, with Aaron Johnson (“Kick-Ass’’) as Count Vronsky.
* “Great Expectations’’ — Another literary classic gets dusted off for Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, with “Harry Potter’’ vets Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes as Magwich.
* “The Master’’ — Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a 1950s religious figure who may or may not be modeled on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in the latest from Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood’’). With Amy Adams and, ending his retirement, Joaquin Phoenix.
* “Moonrise Kingdom’’ — Practically everybody in a small New England town hunts for a pair of runaway lovers in an alleged drama from the unrelated (to P.T.) Wes Anderson (“The Royal Tenenbaums’’). Blue-chip cast includes Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand.
* “Hyde Park on Hudson ’’ — Bill Murray is intriguingly cast as President Franklin D . Roosevelt, carrying on an affair with a distant cousin (Laura Linney) during a 1939 visit by the king and queen of England to the Roosevelt estate in upstate New York.
* “Trouble With the Curve’’ — Clint Eastwood makes his first acting appearance since “Gran Torino’’ as an ailing baseball scout who takes his daughter (Amy Adams) along on his final road trip. Eastwood takes a break from directing, handing the helm to his longtime producer, Robert Lorenz.
* “On the Road’’ — This long-aborning adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel was on last year’s list and is rumored to be finally launching at the Cannes Film Festival. Walter Salles (“The Motorcycle Diaries’’) directs a high-powered cast that including Sam Riley, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi, Kristen Stewart and Terrence Howard.