Summer is the season for superheroes, with Star-Lords and crime-fighting turtles taking over the multiplexes, but fall is when the real stars are forged.
Hollywood put forth a slew of critically scorned titles these past few months, save for “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Boyhood,” but the coming season is filled with fresh faces, intriguing possibilities and Oscar contenders.
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Talented actors like David Oyelowo, Jack O’Connell and Katherine Waterston — to name just three — aren’t yet household names, but TheWrap predicts they will be soon. They’re starring in Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” Angelina Jolie‘s “Unbroken” and Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “Inherent Vice,” respectively, which are three of the year’s most highly-anticipated films.
It can be tough trying to keep track of which stars are rising and which are falling, so TheWrap curated a list of seven actors poised to join the A-list this fall.
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How he’ll spend his fall: Trying to survive the brutalities of being held as a prisoner of war by Japanese troops at the height of World War II.
Upcoming: He’s been cast as the James Bond-esque lead in spy thriller “Section Six,” which chronicles the formation of the British intelligence agency that would eventually become MI6.
Why he’s about to break through: O’Connell has already impressed critics in festival favorites “71” and “Starred Up,” and the Louis Zamperinin role in Angelina Jolie‘s “Unbroken” was among the most highly coveted. O’Connell beat out the likes of Dane DeHaan and Garrett Hedlund for the role, and is considered an instant Oscar contender.
See video: ‘Unbroken’ Star Jack O’Connell Goes to Prison in ‘Starred Up’ Trailer
How she’ll spend her fall: Weeping while Matthew McConaughey, her on-screen dad, gets blasted into outer space in “Interstellar” (Nov. 7).
Upcoming: She lent her voice to Paramount’s animated adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry classic French children’s novel, “The Little Prince,” which is due out in 2015.
Why she’s about to break through: The young actress is only 13, but already she’s starred in “The Conjuring,” alongside Ellen Burstyn in “Wish You Well,” and played Taylor Lautner’s quasi-soulmate in two “Twilight” films. Foy’s presence in Christopher Nolan‘s highly-anticipated space drama should be enough to put her over the top.
How she’ll spend her fall: Getting down and dirty as Ben Affleck‘s mistress in David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” (Oct. 3).
Upcoming: She’s currently shooting a DJ drama with Wes Bentley and Zac Efron called “We Are Your Friends.”
Why she’s about to break through: The British-born actress and model first entered the zeitgeist by taking off her clothes in Robin Thicke and Pharrell’s racy music video for “Blurred Lines,” but starring alongside Affleck and Rosamund Pike in Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s 2012 thriller should make her a serious force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.
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How he’ll spend his fall: Dodging North Korean assassins, likely, after lampooning their feckless dictator Kim Jong-Un in the upcoming Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy, “The Interview” (Dec. 25).
Upcoming: Park has a role in “Trainwreck,” a forthcoming Judd Apatow film, and stars in ABC’s “Fresh off the Boat,” which is a comedic look at celebrity chef Eddie Huang’s Orlando upbringing.
Why he’s about to break through: He’s already gathering steam as Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ foil in “Veep,” but once the world sees him starring in “The Interview” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” he’ll likely be well on his way to becoming a household name.
How she’ll spend her fall: Starring alongside Joaquin Phoenox and Reese Witherspoon in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ’70s drug-fueled crime drama “Inherent Vice” (Dec. 12).
Upcoming: Waterston is slated to star in Jeremiah Jones’ 2015 sci-fi feature “Fluidic.”
Why she’s about to break through: She’s made a handful of appearances in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” but her turn as Shasta Fay Hepworth in Anderson’s upcoming adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s detective novel should help her break into the big leagues.
Also read: Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Gets Oscar-Friendly Release Date
How he’ll spend his fall: Navigating the world’s scariest maze in YA dystopian adaptation “The Maze Runner” (Sept. 19).
Upcoming: O’Brien is a regular on MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” which is in the midst of its fourth season. He plays fan- favorite Stiles, best friend and sidekick to Tyler Posey’s titular werewolf.
Why he’s about to break through: O’Brien has charm and screen presence aplenty, as evidenced on “Teen Wolf,” and in underrated indie “The First Time,” but “The Maze Runner” will really introduce him to a wider moviegoing audience. YA adaptations, if successful, can make a young actor’s career. Just ask Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley.
How he’ll spend his fall: Playing Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” (Dec. 12). No pressure!
Upcoming: Oyelowo is one of the busiest actors in Hollywood. In addition to “Selma,” this fall will see him in Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” and J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year,” as well. He also gave a solo performance in psychological drama “Nightingale,” and completed kidnap thriller “Captive,” opposite Kate Mara.
Why he’s about to break through: Oyelowo has been increasingly impressive in supporting roles the past few years, in films from “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” to “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” His role as MLK should propel him to an even higher level — and maybe even his first Oscar nomination.