Looking back at our first-annual
"Breakout Stars" predictions (2009), we hit only about .300. Chris Pine, Channing Tatum, and 3-D were hits. Jody Hill, Saoirse Ronan, and Rian Johnson were misses, as was Ayelet Zurer, the Israeli stunner who we thought would finally catch on with American audiences as Tom Hanks' co-star in Angels and Demons. Damn.
This year we're looking to improve our batting average with these 10 new predictions — and we didn't even include Rosamund Pike, who looks to be darn near a sure thing with four movies set for release in 2010.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Where You've Seen Him: As Simon, the Gerard Butler-controlling gamer in Gamer
It's been suggested that the Percy Jackson movies may become the next Harry Potter movies, and if that's the case, look for Logan Lerman to become the next Daniel Radcliffe (though we don't anticipate Lerman to be so indelibly typecast). The first of possibly FIVE book adaptations, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is set for release February 12.
Alice in Wonderland
Where You've Seen Her: As Elinor Smith in the box-office and critical bomb Amelia
In her first leading role, the willowy Australian actress plays the title character in Tim Burton's take on Alice in Wonderland (March 5). Co-starring with Johnny Depp (as the Mad Hatter) will only heighten exposure. Others in Hollywood have already taken note of Wasikowska's star potential, casting her as the lead in Jane Eyre, set for a 2011 release.
Iron Man 2
Where You've Seen Her: On G4's Attack of the Show
With a very hot cover for the January issue of Maxim, Olivia Munn is breaking out fast. Her combination of good looks and interest in guy stuff, like gadgets and comic books, inspired Maxim to claim that the Attack of the Show host "just might be the perfect woman." While she's apparently in only one or two scenes in this summer's Iron Man 2 (May 7), simply appearing in the pic will put her on a path towards Hollywood A-List.
Up in the Air
Where You've Seen Her: As Bella's high school friend Jessica in the first two Twilight movies
She's got only small parts in The Twilight Series: Eclipse (June 30) and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (August), so why is 2010 Anna Kendrick's breakout year? Because with six Golden Globe nominations, Up in the Air is the odds-on-favorite to win Best Picture in March, which will likely lead to the pic's re-release and millions more people seeing her winning performance as George Clooney's protege.
Where You've Seen Him: As Charles Bronson in Bronson
Tom Hardy won rave reviews for playing the legendary "tough guy" in the U.K. drama Bronson, but no one saw it ($66K U.S. box office). Now he gets the breakout opportunity of a lifetime as a star in director Christopher Nolan's Inception (July 16), arguably the most highly anticipated movie of 2010.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Where You've Seen Him: In violent straight-to-DVD fare like Never Surrender, Hell's Chain, and Death Warrior
Plucked from the mixed martial arts fighting circuit, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is Sgt. Bosco "B.A." Baracus in The A-Team movie (June 11). This is the same role that turned Mr. T into a pop-culture icon/fixture for going on 30 years, most recently as a pitchman for World of Warcraft. With a name like "Rampage," we pity the fool who suggests he won't breakout in 2010!
Where You've Seen Him: As Sgt. William James in the Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker is on the "Top 10 of 2009" list for many critics, yet few people have seen the pic or even know who Jeremy Renner is. That's likely to change in 2010 as he stars in Ben Affleck's cops-and-robbers drama The Town (September 10). And if we're wrong about him breaking out this year, it's almost certain to happen in 2011 as he's rumored to be Max in Fury Road (aka Mad Max 4) or in 2012 if Avengers gets made, as he's currently cast as Hawkeye.