There is a new trend spreading across Tinsel Town as a wave of British talent is striking at the very heart of American culture – their beloved Sci-Fi, fantasy and comic book movies. While Hollywood may have the big bucks to deliver on the special effects, it’s an army of British talent who are journeying across the pond to save the day when the world is in peril.
We take a look at the top ten British stars set to make an impression in 2012.
10. Sir Ian McKellan
Perhaps the one who started the charge. With starring roles in films too numerous to mention (and er- Coronation Street), the veteran actor returns to the role of Gandalf in next year’s Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Just try not to make too much of a fuss about it if you see him.
9. James McAvoy
From one X-man to another, McAvoy first found fame in the UK with his role in the first two seasons of Shameless before the pull of Hollywood took him off our television sets and onto the big screen. McAvoy’s geek credentials were cemented with acclaimed roles in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Wanted and X-Men: First Class. The Glaswegian is set to reprise his stint as Professor Charles Xavier in the …First class sequel, due to enter production in 2012.
8. Robert Pattinson
The London born heartthrob continues his unstoppable rampage on the hearts of pale teenage girls’ hearts with the next in line of the hugely popular vampire series with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 released in 2012.
7. Max Irons
Being the son of Hollywood royalty doesn’t always guarantee success; Sinead Cusack and Jeremy Irons couldn’t spare their son from the underwhelming Red Riding Hood or the woeful misstep of Dorian Gray. Still, things are looking up for Irons. With a starring role in the upcoming adaptation of sci-fi novel The Host (written by Twilight scribe Stephanie Meyer no less) set to begin filming in 2012, the boy Irons is ready to make a name for himself.
6. Benedict Cumberbatch
Ahhh a three pipe problem this one Watson. See we want our stars’ talents to be recognised –indeed the London born stage actor had already won acclaim in the UK for his television performances as Stephen Hawking and Sherlock Holmes- but it is in 2012 that Cumberbatch is really going to land big. The next 12 months will see him give a motion capture performance of Smaug the Dragon in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. He has also signed up for J.J Abrams Star Trek sequel. The downside of all this being; we may lose him to Hollywood altogether and never get that third series of Sherlock!
5. Martin Freeman
This might be a case of Watson overshadowing Holmes in 2012. Following well-received roles in The Office and Sherlock, plus minor parts in movies Love Actually and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Freeman’s profile is set to soar with his role as Bilbo Baggins in the two-part adaptation of The Hobbit, released over the Christmas period.
4. Simon Pegg
After the surprise hit Shawn of the Dead and despite the disappointing Paul, Pegg has made himself the obvious choice in Hollywood when a young Scottish actor was needed for JJ Abrams reimagining of the Star Trek franchise. Pegg’s portrayal of frantic engine room technician Montgomery “Scotty” Scott won him critical acclaim in 2009; he will reprise the role in 2013’s sequel, which has now begun post-production.
3. Andrew Garfield
The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield fought off stiff competition from the likes of Jamie Bell, Anton Yelchin, and Josh Hutcherson to land the role of everyone’s favourite neighbourhood spider. Upon receiving the news that he was to follow in Tobey Maguire’s footsteps as a rebooted Peter Parker, the 27-year old actor claims he burst into tears of happiness, thus winning over an army of sceptical fanboys, who love nothing more than slavish geekdom in their leading men.
2. Henry Cavill
Charming, handsome and affable Brit Henry Cavill is known for his recurring role in the BBC’s period drama The Tudors and mythological eye candy Immortals and, well, not much else. Considering the uproar that would occur in the UK if a yank was ever cast as James Bond, this is quite a coup for a Brit to land the role of Clark Kent/Superman. The pressure is on for Cavill to take ownership of the role and deliver Warner Brothers a franchise to replace the Harry Potter and Batman goldmines.
1. Christian Bale
With Heath Ledger’s Joker locked up in Arkham Asylum it’s down to Christian Bale to lead this trilogy to its conclusion. The stakes for 2012’S The Dark Knight Rises are stacked incredibly high. After the billion dollar box office takings of The Dark Knight, the pressure is on for the series finale to do the near impossible- produce a third instalment of a film franchise that doesn’t end the series with a whimper. If he manages that, Christian Bale’s Batman may just be irreplaceable in movie terms.