It’s time to gaze into our crystal ball and predict the talent that’s going to go nuclear over the next twelve months: these 10 stars-in-waiting may not be household names just yet, but give it a year…
As one of the ‘Fast & Furious’ family, Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot is no stranger to blockbuster territory, but in 2016 her star will ascend into the stratosphere thanks to her role as Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s long awaited/dreaded superhero scrap 'Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice’.
A standalone Wonder Woman movie will follow, but for now, good time Gal has some mighty big strappy sandals to fill: she’s going toe-to-toe with the two biggest superheroes there are, and though her name is not in the film’s title, we get the feeling it’s Gadot who’ll be the true victor of this battle.
'Star Wars’ is just the beginning for Adam Driver, the young actor who worked with Steven Spielberg ('Lincoln’), Clint Eastwood ('J. Edgar’) and the Coen brothers ('Inside Llewyn Davis’) before he even turned 22. Playing 'The Force Awakens’ villain Kylo Ren will open major doors for him, Jedi-style – not that he needs the help, of course. We hear Ren will return for 'Episode VIII’ in 2017 but until then, he’s got some pearlers on his plate in the form of historical drama 'Silence’ with Martin Scorsese, 'Midnight Special’ with Jeff Nichols and 'Paterson’ with another JJ, Jim Jarmusch. 2016 will be his year.
Maybe you already saw Maika Monroe in last year’s superlative horror chiller 'It Follows’, or as the doe-eyed daughter in Dan Stevens’ sights in 'The Guest’. Now it’s time for Maika to go mainstream, and you can’t get much more mainstream than a Roland Emmerich disaster movie. Monroe will play Patricia Whitmore, the daughter of Bill Pullman’s former president, in 'Independence Day: Resurgence’, the hugely anticipated follow-up to 1996’s alien invasion classic. The 22-year-old will also appear in another alien invasion flick, 'The 5th Wave’, opposite Chloe Moretz.
Not many people are capable of pulling focus from Tom Cruise in full flow, but Rebecca Ferguson managed just that in 'Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’, playing Ilsa Faust, a special agent his equal. 2016 will be her biggest year yet: she’ll shoot Jo Nesbø thriller 'The Snowman’ with Michael Fassbender, star opposite Meryl Streep in musical comedy 'Florence Foster Jenkins’ and release the adaptation of the best-selling book 'The Girl On The Train’ aka 'The Book Everyone Is Reading On The Train’. And oh yeah, don’t be surprised if those rumours surrounding Ferguson and 'Captain Marvel’ turn out to be true.
2015 was a pretty fantastic year for Alicia Vikander… could 2016 be the year she takes over the world? We don’t have to wait long to find out: January 1st sees the UK release of 'The Danish Girl’, in which Vikander is pegged for an Oscar nomination as the lover of Eddie Redmayne’s first male-to-female sex change volunteer. Following that, there’s Tom Stoppard adaptation 'Tulip Fever’, a plum role opposite Michael Fassbender in 'The Light Between Oceans’ and the currently untitled fifth Bourne movie from Paul Greengrass. Hollywood belongs to Alicia Vikander now. Get used to it.
Could it be possible that playing Spider-Man isn’t quite the coveted role it used to be? Andrew Garfield might once have made this list but burned through a lot of goodwill with the underwhelming 'Amazing Spider-Man’ movies – now he’s as good as AWOL. Tom Holland will be hoping it’s no poisoned chalice, as he’s playing Peter Parker/Spider-Man at arguably the most exciting time in the character’s screen history – Spidey joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe via a brief cameo in 'Captain America: Civil War’ before spinning off his own brand new adventure. Blink and you’ll miss him in 2016, but Holland is here to stay.
It’s hard not to love Cara Delevingne; skin of porcelain, mono of brow and a way of dealing with the dunderheaded US press that just makes us adore her more. Models-slash-actresses don’t usually fare very well over the long term, but Cara is no “slashie” – she’s already booking work with talented directors like Michael Winterbottom ('The Face of an Angel’) and she has a slate to die for. First up is 'Suicide Squad’, the massively anticipated DC supervillain spin-off, in which she plays grubby demon lady Enchantress. Then there’s the lead role in Luc Besson’s new sci-fi action-adventure 'Valérian And The City Of A Thousand Planets’ which could easily be the new 'The Fifth Element’. Which would make Cara the new Milla Jovovich.
Next year’s most controversial blockbuster will be 'Ghostbusters’, gender-reversed and rebooted by director Paul Feig and starring the funniest women in comedy. One such funny lady is the incredible Kate McKinnon, who’ll be playing scientist Jillian Holtzmann (the 'Egon’ of the bunch if that hair is anything to go by) opposite the likes of Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. A 'Saturday Night Live’ mainstay, McKinnon has been making America laugh for four years – now it’s the turn of the rest of the world. You’ll also be able to catch McKinnon in crime comedy 'Masterminds’ alongside fellow 'buster Wiig.
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, the beard is probably familiar – at least, it is if you’ve seen any of the History channel’s amazingly violent show, 'Vikings’. Fimmel plays legendary warrior Ragnar Lothbrok, disputed son of Odin and eventual King of Denmark, and he’ll return to screens for a fourth season sometime in 2016. Before that, however, there’s the small matter of the biggest videogame movie ever: Fimmel heads up the human cast of Duncan Jones’ massive 'Warcraft’ movie, leading an Alliance army against the Orc hordes. If having awesome facial hair and swinging giant axes is his thing, who are we to judge?
Already hotting up the small screen in the third season of Netflix prison drama 'Orange Is The New Black’, Ruby Rose is slowly making her way towards big screen success. The “gender neutral” star, who has dated a string of supermodels and left tabloid meltdowns in her wake, will play a major role in our most eagerly anticipated sequel of 2016, 'John Wick 2’, but Aussie Rose will also join the cast of zombie sequel 'Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ as Abigail. Get used to the sight of huge crowds of slathering people surrounding her: Ruby Rose is going to be next-level big.
Image credits: PA/Warner Bros/Rex