90 SCOTT FRANK - WRITER/DIRECTOR
Once the go-to guy for sly, smart Elmore Leonard adaptations (Get Shorty, Out Of Sight), Frank turned director in ’07 with The Lookout, a criminally underrated flick. Still regarded as one of the most in-demand screen scribes in Hollywood (he’s one of 19 who make up The Writers Co-Op, designed to increase the power of pen-pushers), though we’re most excited to watch his evolution behind the lens.
What’s next? He’s hoping to mount long-gestating western Godless. For Pete’s – no, Scott’s – sake, someone give him the money!
89 GEORGE LUCAS - MOGUL/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
Retaining a residual ‘hotness’ thanks to his intergalactic heritage and the arrival of new Star Wars episode The Force Unleashed – in the form of a videogame – Lucas is also godfathering the return of Indiana Jones, having spent years ditching and redoing scripts to ensure Spielberg and Ford didn’t go off half-cocked. Still a key player in the future of film, thanks to his ongoing involvement in FX powerhouse Industrial Light & Magic.
What’s next? Has hired Three Kings’ John Ridley to finally script African-American airmen story Red Tails.
88 RUSSELL CROWE - ACTOR
After the Oscar-lavished Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind, Crowe has weathered a lull (A Good Year, anyone? Anyone?) to re-emerge as the rugged contender we knew so well from those poetry-tantrum, phone-flinging days. He delivered for Ridley Scott in American Gangster and will play a similar schlub opposite Ben Affleck in State Of Play. A soulful, shape-shifting actor, he’s about to hit a killer second career-act.
What’s next? Sir Ridley collaborations four and five: CIA drama Body Of Lies and Robin Hood revamp Nottingham.
87 RYAN PHILLIPPE - ACTOR
Better known as the former Mr Reese Witherspoon, Phillippe could escape his Oscar-winning ex’s shadow in 2008. Very good in last year’s Breach, he follows it with Kimberley Peirce’s Iraq War veteran drama Stop-Loss. Expect a new maturity to go with his matinee idol looks.
What’s next? An intriguing potential reunion with The Way Of The Gun writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, for The Stanford Prison Experiment.
86 DANNY BOYLE - DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
The frank Manc spent a few years flailing after the blistering double bill of Shallow Grave and Trainspotting, but solid shocker 28 Days Later... was followed by the blistering Sunshine, telling a rich, languid, adult story with mood, character and sumptuous production design. Hell, he’s turning into Ridley Scott...
What’s next? Coming back to Earth, with Full Monty writer Simon Beaufoy’s Slumdog Millionaire.
85 SHAUNA ROBERTSON - PRODUCER
While writer/director/producer Judd Apatow is hailed as comedy’s new God, Robertson works quietly away as his right-hand woman. She produced Knocked Up and Superbad, but also worked with Jay Roach on the Austin Powers series and made Will Ferrell a star with Elf. Scarily smart and commercially savvy.
What’s next? Stoner crime comedy Pineapple Express and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, with TV’s Russell Brand.
84 BRAD BIRD - DIRECTOR/WRITER
Trained in the Disney salt mines, Bird’s break came writing and directing an episode of Spielberg’s Amazing Stories – before co-scripting *batteries not included. Brilliant fable The Iron Giant followed, before the hook-up with Pixar for The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Head meets heart: Bird’s the complete package.
What’s next? Venturing into live-action with fictionalised San Francisco earthquake tale 1906.
83 AMY ADAMS - ACTRESS
When Linsday Lohan stumbled into rehab, Disney must have hoped she’d come out like Amy Adams. Now they don’t care. Amy has indie cred (Junebug), comedy training (Talladega Nights), a starring role in a smash (Enchanted) and a grown-up comedy hit (Charlie Wilson’s War). Just keep her away from Paris Hilton...
What’s next? Look out for dark drama Doubt, with Adams alongside Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
82 NATALIE PORTMAN - ACTRESS
Exquisite in Wes Anderson’s Darjeeling prefix Hotel Chevalier, Portman also took the plunge for Wong Kar Wai with My Blueberry Nights. A star since 1994, yet still only 26, she’s also showing ambition, graduating to real-life Royalty (after Queen Amidala) in The Other Boleyn Girl.
What’s next? My Blueberry Nights UK opening (22 February), followed by a remake of Danish drama Brothers – and a possible shot at Snow White in Snow And The Seven.
81 BRAD GREY - MOGUL
One-time talent wrangler and TV producer, Grey was behind The Larry Sanders Show, Mr Show and The Sopranos, before palling up with Brad Pitt at Plan B Entertainment and delivering, among others, The Departed. Now CEO of Paramount, his rep for “understanding the talent” has forged relationships with key filmmakers and managed the politics of DreamWorks’ buyout.
What’s next? New films from Aronofsky, Spielberg, Jackson, Fincher, Scorsese, Abrams... Grey is Hollywood’s most upcoming enabler.