Can we talk about Bradley Cooper’s upcoming projects for a minute? This is a guy whose recent filmography consists mainly of comedies. Yet, he’s slated to work with some of the most celebrated working directors in some pretty meaty-sounding films.
Where did this come from, you ask? Well, Cooper trained at the celebrated Actor’s Studio, and if you’ve ever seen him interviewed, you know that he takes his craft pretty seriously. So he’s got the ambition. But does he have the talent to back it up? Some would say that he hasn’t shown serious acting skill yet. But I’d argue that he’s been very charismatic in films such as The Hangover and Valentine’s Day, and also proved his dramatic potential in this year’s Limitless. The film itself was just okay for me (it was a good premise, and director Neil Burger brought some nice visual flare, but it fell flat in terms of storytelling.), but Cooper proved to be a very capable leading man. And it seems that others took him seriously, too, because we’re going to see a lot of this guy over the next two years. From indie comedies to heavy dramas, Cooper’s got a lot of different opportunities to turn the doubters into fans.
The Words (2012)
Plot: “When an aspiring writer claims another man’s long lost work as his own, the price he must pay is more than he could have ever imagined.”
Co-stars: Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Dennis Quaid, Jeremy Irons, Ben Barnes, J.K. Simmons, and John Hannah (Four Weddings and a Funeral)
Director: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthall (first-time directors)
My Thoughts: Cooper likes to play aspiring writers looking for a quick fix, it seems. Interesting cast, potentially interesting premise.
Plot: “A former getaway driver jeopardizes his Witness Protection Plan identity in order to help his girlfriend”
Co-stars: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Dave Koechner, Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville), Beau Bridges, Ryan Hansen (Party Down), Tom Arnold
Director: Dax Shepard and David Palmer
My Thoughts: Cooper’s big break was with comedy, so I’m glad to see that he hasn’t abandoned the genre (though he’s doing lots of other stuff, too, which is smart). Cooper reportedly plays a villain here to Shepard’s lead. Shepard and Cooper are two actor who automatically make me interested in a movie, so needless to say, I’m very intrigued about this.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)
- Plot: “A motorcycle stunt rider considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician.”
- Co-Stars: Ryan Gosling, Rose Byrne, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Bruce Greenwood, Ben Mendelsohn
- Director: Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine)
- My Thoughts: People are already peeing themselves about this project, largely thanks to one Ryan Gosling. Blue Valentine was one of my favourite films of last year, so of course I’m excited for this movie, too. Great supporting cast (Greenwood, Mendelsohn, and Byrne have been doing some great work recently).
The Silver Linings Playbook (2013)
- Plot: “After spending four years in a mental institution, a former teacher moves back in with his mother and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife.”
- Co-Stars: Jennnifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker, Taylor Schilling, Jacki Weaver
- Director: David O. Russell (The Fighter, Three Kings)
- My Thoughts: This is the project that I’m most excited about. The premise grabbed my attention right away, and it seems like it will give Cooper a lot of opportunities to show off his acting chops. I didn’t love The Fighter, but sign me up for this one.
Paradise Lost (2013)
- Plot: “An action-heavy take on the epic poem centered on the war in heaven between archangels Michael and Lucifer.”
- Co-Stars: Camilla Belle, Casey Affleck, Djimon Hounsou, Benjamin Walker, Callum McCauliffe, Dominic Purcell
- Director: Alex Proyas (Knowing, I Robot)
- My Thoughts: This seems like it could be disastrous (and Proyas’ filmography doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence), or potentially really interesting. Affleck is one of my favourite actors, and with Cooper taking on the role of Lucifer, it should at least be interesting to see play out.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E (2013)
- Plot: Based on the 1960’s spy TV show of the same name
- Co-stars: None, yet.
- Director: Steven Soderbergh
- My Thoughts: This one isn’t official yet, but word seems to be pretty strong about Cooper’s chance at the starring role. George Clooney was originally attached to the project, but dropped out for unknown reasons. Soderbergh is known for getting great casts, so if this goes through, Cooper will likely have some impressive co-stars to work with.