Henry Cavill, Aubrey Plaza, Jamie Campbell Bower and others are poised to break into the big time
As the temperatures rise, a group of young up-and-coming actors are hoping a string of high-profile movies will help their movie careers heat up.
Some, like Aubrey Plaza and Charlie Hunnam, are already known to television viewers for their work on "Parks and Recreation" and "Sons of Anarchy," respectively. Others, such as Jamie Campbell Bower, soon to make tween girls swoon in the upcoming "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," still enjoy lives of relative obscurity.
If the films that these five actors are headlining connect with audiences, then they will soon find themselves within reach of the A-list. If the movies fail, the climb to the top of the Hollywood heap will get a lot steeper.
How He'll Spend his Summer: Spreading truth, justice and the American way in the Superman reboot "Man of Steel" (June 14).
Upcoming: If "Man of Steel" lives up to the strong buzz, Cavill will finding himself donning Superman's signature cape and tights for many more installments. He is also attached to "The Great Wall," which is set in China in the 15th century and centers on two British warriors squaring off against monsters.
Why He's Ready to Break Through: With his broad shoulders, cleft chin and matinee idol looks, "The Tudors" star has a flair that recalls Hollywood swashbucklers of old like Eroll Flynn. He's been shortlisted for big parts in the past (James Bond, for instance) but has fallen just short of landing them; "Man of Steel," though, could be the franchise-ready role he's been narrowly missing. Judging by the epic trailer, it looks as if Cavill may have the screen presence to do what Brandon Routh, who played the role in the ill-fated "Superman Returns," could not — to make this alien-born adventurer relatable and, well, human.
JAMIE CAMPBELL BOWER
How He'll Spend his Summer: Helping Lily Collins rescue her mother as the half-human, half-angel bad boy at the center of "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" (Aug. 23).
Upcoming: Depending on the box office, more "Mortal Instruments." After all, the popular young-adult series that inspired the movie boasts six books.
Why He's Ready to Break Through: He's already toyed with heartthrob-dom with supporting roles in "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" and "The Twilight Saga." With "Mortal Instruments," his swoon-worthy charms will be prominently on display. That kind of young adult idolatry can do wonders for a career. Just ask Robert Pattinson.
How She'll Spend Her Summer: Racking up sexual experiences as a college-bound high school senior in "The To Do List" (Aug. 16)
Upcoming: Assuming it gets renewed, season six of "Parks & Recreation." The anti-romantic comedy "A Many Splintered Thing" opposite Chris Evans, which should hit theaters later this year.
Why She's Ready to Break Through: With her deadpan delivery and role as a work-allergic intern on "Parks & Recreation," Plaza steals nearly every episode. Her wit has also given her her memorable supporting turns in films like "Funny People" and "Safety Not Guaranteed," but she's poised to get a lot more attention with her biggest movie role yet. With a cast that includes "SNL" funnyman Bill Hader and a raunchy premise, "To Do List" could be just the vehicle she needs to move from must-see TV to film stardom.
How He'll Spend his Summer: Slaying giant monsters known as "Kaiju" with Rinko Kikuchi in Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim" (July 12).
Upcoming: New seasons of "Sons of Anarchy," the wildly successful FX show he stars in alongside Ron Perlman and Katey Segal. Working on a project about Vlad the Impaler.
Why He's Ready to Break Through: He already holds the lead role on one of the most successful shows on cable television, which has given him more visibility than anyone on this list. He's also developed a close relationship with Plan B, Brad Pitt's production company, which wants to turn at least one of his scripts, "Vlad," into a feature. Now Hunnam, a Brit who grew up tough, is ready to be a leading man in the vein of fellow Brits and Aussies Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy. Teaming with Del Toro on a big summer film is a good way to start.
MILES TELLER (and SHAILENE WOODLEY)
How They'll Spend Their Summer: Teller will star in "The Spectacular Now" as Sutter Keely, a high school senior who can't fathom why his classmates wants to think about their futures when the present is so grand. Then his girlfriend breaks up with him and he meets Aimee (Woodley), an ambitious senior with dreams of college. The two, as you might expect, start to fall in love. Can Sutter mature enough to make it last?
Upcoming: Teller will star in a couple of romantic comedies, "Are We Officially Dating?" and "Two Night Stand," before taking a supporting role in Summit's potential young adult franchise "Divergent." That film could also be crucial for Woodley, who will star.
Why They're Ready to Break Through: Woodley already portended a bright future with her performance in Alexander Payne's "The Descendants," while Teller showed some range in "Rabbit Hole" and "Project X" before starring in "21 and Over." "The Spectacular Now" was a crowd-pleaser at Sundance, earning rave reviews for both of them. Teller is uproarious without being inane and Woodley gives a subtle but affecting performance in a little movie that may have the heart and charm to connect with a wider audience.