The Actor: Hollywood heavyweight Jolie is at worst a kick-ass action chick, at best a magnetic presence in high-powered dramas. Her output is varied, and she’s worked with some ‘proper’ filmmakers, among them Michael Winterbottom, Clint Eastwood and James Mangold (even if the latter is responsible for the horrendous Knight & Day ).
Ideal Project: With A Mighty Heart and Changeling , Jolie took on controversial, meaty material and won. We’d like to see what she’d do from behind the lens with stuff cut from similar fabric .
Could Be The Next: Clint Eastwood
Daniel Day Lewis
The Actor: Chameleon true ‘ack-torrr’ with an uncanny ability to shapeshift into his various roles, Lewis is a veritable awards magnet in front of the camera (two Oscars and counting), so just think what he’d do with that formidable talent from the director’s chair.
Ideal Project: Lewis excels in historical yarns, so a meaty drama plucked from the annuls of history should go down a treat. He’d draw a heck of a cast, too.
Could Be The Next: Kenneth Branagh
The Actor: Born and bred Brit who’s managed to evade any kind of stereotyping thanks to a pick ‘n’ mix confection of movies that range from epic disasters (duh, Titantic ), flighty hippie flicks ( Hideous Kinky ) and Oscar-winning dramas ( The Reader ).
Ideal Project: She’s worked with some of the best, but Kate is mostly known as a bit of a mother Earth. So something that taps into that would be perfect. No corsets allowed, though.
Could Be The Next: Mike Leigh
The Actor: Smooth operator Pitt has survived gossip rag rubbish and is still considered one of Hollywood’s A-list operatives. He’s gone from young heartthrob to, well, slightly older heartthrob, but never shying away from the more difficult roles.
Ideal Project: Fight Club remains one of Pitt’s finest films, and we’re sure Fincher would be happy to give him a few tips. But Pitt would do well to take the lead from Oceans pal Clooney, and start off with an intimate true grit drama.
Could Be The Next: George Clooney
Helena Bonham Carter
The Actor: Kooky Brit lovey who just can’t stay away from the broken, fragile characters. So far she’s played fruit loop Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd , Marla in Fight Club , the hot-headed Red Queen in Alice In Wonderland , and total nutcase Bellatrix in the Harry Potter series.
Ideal Project: She’s surely picked up a few tricks from hubbie and long-time co-worker Tim Burton, so Carter should be a dab hand at this. Having excelled at broken female characters, how about directing a similarly tortured male character this time? We expect the result to be a total mind-screw.
Could Be The Next: David Lynch
The Actor: Funnyman most famous for fearlessly flashing his bits in Forgetting Sarah Marshall , and for his role in cult TV series Freaks And Feeks . Segel has already turned his hand to writing, having scripted chucklers Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek .
Ideal Project: A comedy of course, but something more than just a gross-out gagfest. Segel has heart, and we want to see that represented on-screen. Obvious comparison alert…
Could Be The Next: Judd Apatow
The Actor: Everybody’s favourite actress, Streep’s career has gone from strength to strength thanks to her unending talent and ability to inhabit characters completely. She’s worked with everybody from Robert Altman and Spike Jonze to Clint Eastwood and Sydney Pollack.
Ideal Project: Streep never fails to bring the emotion, so we want a bit of melodrama from her. She would, of course, have to star as well.
Could Be The Next: Sydney Pollack
The Actor: Who doesn’t know and adore Morgan Freeman? Nobody, that’s who. Excelling at just about everything he tips his hat to, Freeman is an enigmatic force whose mere presence in a movie immediately lifts it like the egg whites in a soufflé. No wonder he got cast as God in Bruce Almighty .
Ideal Project: Freeman directed Bopha! back in 1993, but he’s not returned to directing since. This needs to be fixed. Surely a man of his keen intellect and soul should be using it to end Hollywood’s remake problem? Give him a 'man overcomes adversity' tale starring Josh Brolin, say we.
Could Be The Next: Jonathan Demme
The Actor: Does she really need an introduction? A bona fide national treasure, you’ve known her so long via her numerous on-screen appearances that Judi Dench now feels like she’s your rather hip and happening aunt.
Ideal Project: Dench directed Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh in 1989 TV movie Look Back In Anger , which received a few rounds of applause, but she has never returned to the viewfinder. Considering her roots in theatre, where sh e's directed on numerous occasions, it would be a shame not to see her attempt to helm a play adap – an updated The Boys from Syracuse , perhaps?
Could Be The Next: Catherine Hardwicke
The Actor: He’s got the boy next door look down pat, but Damon is anything but ordinary. He won at Oscar for co-scripting Good Will Hunting with good pal Ben Affleck, and shattered any preconceptions by becoming an action hero in the Bourne films. Quite simply: the sky’s the limit.
Ideal Project: Damon’s done a spot of editing before (and writing, of course), so he’s a shoe-in for a directing job – especially with Affleck on speed dial. He’s not done much comedy of late – so how about an original, Burn After Reading -style, brain-tugging farce?
Could Be The Next: Ben Affleck
The Actor: Theatre trained thesp with a penchant for authority roles, McKellen has become something of a fantasy figurehead in recent years thanks to roles in the X-Men and Lord Of The Rings movies. He’s set to keep that up with The Hobbit – if it ever gets made.
Ideal Project: Though he’s another great theatre presence, McKellen is also an ambassador for Stonewall. So how about helming a gay drama? We’ve not seen one of those on the big screen for a while…
Could Be The Next: Orson Welles
The Actor: Chief of sweeping Austen adaptations and scripting agent of the film versions of Nanny McPhee , Thompson is a dab hand at acting and writing
Ideal Project: Thompson’s scribbled literary adaps before, so we suggest taking it easy(ish) and sticking to what she knows. E.g. write a lyrical and loyal adaptation of a cracking novel (uh, Lois Lowry’s The Giver ?) and then hop behind the camera. Easy.
Could Be The Next: Lone Scherfig
The Actor: With beard: awesome. Without beard: awesome. Mortensen leapt into the collective consciousness with his sword-swirling turn as Aragon in Lord Of The Rings , then smacked us the heck up with the equally brilliant A History Of Violence , Eastern Promises and The Road .
Ideal Project: Something manly and sinewy. With blokes built like brick shithouses spitting out phrases like “eat me” and “Hitler was a sissy”. Either that, or take a crack at The Hobbit …
Could Be The Next: David Cronenberg
The Actor: Renowned for being in as many crap films as good ones, Caine’s had a mean streak in his later career to match the classics of his earlier, with Batman Begins, Children Of Men and Harry Brown showing he’s still got it.
Ideal Project: Something massively British. Preferably set in London. Gritty but humorous. No gangsters allowed.
Could Be The Next: Clint Eastwood (yes, another one)
Robert Downey Jr.
The Actor: From off-the-wall career killer to off-the-wall comedy king, Downey Jr. has had more ups and downs than a jobbing street walker – and the bruises to show for it. But currently surging on a remarkable upswing, Downey Jr. has become a hero again with Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes .
Ideal Project: Renowned for his crazy energy, Downey Jr. would make for a perfect director. Pair him with Jon Favreau as executive producer, and he should be able to turn ashes into gold.
Could Be The Next: Jon Favreau
The Actor: Former quirky teen, now quirky adult, Ricci managed to grow up in Hollywood without taking a drug-addled diversion down LiLo Avenue (formerly DrewBarry Drive). Though she’s not had a massive hit in recent years ( Monster was way back in 2003), Ricci is known for taking risks.
Ideal Project: Something a little bit nuts and gothic, with a lot of dry humour. If Tim Burton’s too busy to make the Sleeping Beauty -inspired Maleficent , Ricci would be the perfect second choice.
Could Be The Next: Tim Burton
The Actor: Back in the ‘80s, Ford was big stuff. Macho star of Star Wars and Indiana Jones , he was every kid’s favourite hero. Nowadays, he’s whiling away his time in crud like Extraordinary Measures and Indy 5 , though he’s set for a comeback with Cowboys & Aliens .
Ideal Project: Could this be the man to save Jurassic Park 4 ? He’s in with Spielberg, so what’s stopping him? We like those odds.
Could Be The Next: Steven Spielberg
The Actor: Former kid star who had an Oscar nom by the time he was 20 years old, DiCaprio has survived being branded a heartthrob (cheers, James Cameron) and is now one of the most interesting, varied actors of his generation. He currently has a staggering 21 projects rumoured to be in the pipeline, including Aquaman and a Twilight Zone feature.
Ideal Project: DiCaprio’s worked with some of the world moviemaking greats, so he should definitely know his way around a camera by now. How about taking on the long-in-development-hell Torso ? We imagine DiCaprio would attack the material with an eye on character and atmosphere. Bring it.
Could Be The Next: Martin Scorsese
The Actor: Mostly recently pitching up in horror sequel Predators , Brody’s got his fingers in all sorts of pies – from oddball flicks like The Darjeeling Limited , to sci-fi Splice and big budget flicks like King Kong . Good all-rounder.
Ideal Project: If another Predators movie is on the cards, we wouldn’t mind seeing Brody have a crack at it. We know he’s a clever chap, the son of a photographer and a professor, so why not give him a go? He might even be able to rope Arnie in…
Could Be The Next: Robert Rodriguez
The Actor: A breath of fresh air in a world of female celebrities too often populated with divas and disasters, Adams is a true-life Disney princess – we imagine every morning she wakes up and enacts a musical number with the local bluebird population. Filmwise, she’s played ice queens ( The Wedding Date ), pregnant chicks ( Junebug ) and, oh, a Disney princess ( Enchanted ).
Ideal Project: Adams was born to be a ‘30s star, something much evidenced in her turn in Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day . So we want her to revive the bygone days of cinema with a big, stylish ‘50s musical – naturally she has to star as well.
Could Be The Next: Rob Marshall