Many fall films are anchored by promising up-and-comers in projects that could make them household names — or Oscar attendees.
Also read: 20 Movies We're Dying to See This Fall
Some, like Asa Butterfield, have already landed impressive parts in films like "Hugo," but are ready to take the next leap forward. Others have strung together a string of weighty performances in supporting roles, but now are ready to take center stage.
How he'll spend his fall: Rescuing the planet from alien attacks as the teenage warrior in the big screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card's "Enders Game" (Nov. 1).
Upcoming: Lionsgate and Summit think that "Ender's Game" has franchise potential to rival "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight." If audiences embrace the futuristic adventure, there could be plenty more Ender Wiggin in Butterfield's future; Card wrote four sequels to his hit novel.
The 16-year old has also signed on to the fantasy adventure "The White Circus" opposite Chloë Grace Moretz.
Why he's about to break through: Butterfield first caught audiences' attention as the wide-eyed orphan in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," but "Ender's Game" marks his first full-fledged action role. The big-budget extravaganza will rise or fall on his performance. If it works, the opportunities are limitless. Just ask Jennifer Lawrence.
How he'll spend his fall: Stumbling his way through Greenwich Village during the 1960s folk music explosion in the Coen brothers "Inside Llewyn Davis" (Dec. 6) and examining the finer points of 19th century Parisian infidelity in "Therese" opposite indie "It Girl" Elizabeth Olsen (Sept. 27).
Upcoming: He will star as a Greek guide to married tourists in the thriller "The Two Faces of January" with Viggo Mortensen and play legendary drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in "The Ballad of Pablo Escobar."
Why he's ready to break through: As a nomadic folk singer consigned to the margins of the music industry, Isaac astounded critics when the film debuted at Cannes. Many reviewers predicted big things for the actor, including a possible Oscar nomination. Isaac has demonstrated an impressive intensity in supporting roles such as the ill-fated thief he played in "Drive," but here he is front and center. Bonus points for doing his own singing and guitar work.
Upcoming: A supporting role in "Suite Francaise," a film set in German-occupied France, and the lead role in "Focus" opposite Will Smith. In "Focus," she'll play a young, attractive woman sheperded by a grifter (Smith).
Why she's ready to break through: Robbie has been scratching at the door of stardom for a few years, particularly when she landed a lead role on the short-lived ABC show "Pan Am." She's now ready for her breakthrough thanks to movies, taking a major part in Scorsese's latest before starring alongside one of the world's biggest movie stars next year.
How he'll spend his fall: Helping Julian Assange steal state secrets as a technology activist in "The Fifth Estate" (Oct. 18) and racing for the world championship as Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda in "Rush" (Sept. 20).
Upcoming: He'll engage in international espionage in the big screen adaptation of John Le Carre's "A Most Wanted Man" opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman before crossing the boards with Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz in the backstage drama "Sils Maria."
Why he's ready to break through: Bruhl is already a star in Europe thanks buttermilk features that belie an inner steel. Chris Hemsworth may be the bigger name in "Rush," but it's Bruhl who has the showier role as a race car driver who has to battle back from a devastating accident to compete for the sport's top prize. Plus, with Edward Snowden a hot topic of debate, "The Fifth Estate" and its examination of WikiLeaks is bound to stir controversy.
How she'll spend her fall: Playing Nelson Mandela's wife Winnie in the biopic "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." The Weinstein Co. film will premiere at Toronto before opening in theaters in November.
Upcoming: Though little has been announced about the next James Bond movie, it's hard to imagine she won't be included since she was anointed the new Money Penny at the end of the last one.
Why she's ready to break through: She's stolen scenes in several big-budget films over the past few years, from two "Pirates of the Caribbean" films to the aforementioned "Skyall." Now viewers will get a chance to see her in a different light, playing one of the best roles for a black actress you can imagine. While Jennifer Hudson will play it just two months earlier, we're guessing Harris holds her own. And after that? Another big Bond movie.