Who Is The New Denzel?
A recent article in The Hollywood Reporter sparked a lot of attention with its survey of who among the next generation of actors is up to task of carrying the Sidney Poitier/Denzel Washington mantle in cinema. With Washington, Will Smith, Don Cheadle, Jeffrey Wright, and Eddie Murphy not really fading, but certainly, gradually aging out of leading man roles, there have only been tentative indications as to who will move in to take their places. Hollywood Insider decided to score the current field of black male actors to sum things up.
1. Idris Elba: Although soon 42, Elba still has very strong potential to expand his imprint on cinema. The actor has been smart to cultivate a strong core base of female fans (particularly among black women), both stateside and overseas. He has also peppered his acting résumé with a variety of projects that have earned him a solid international fan base. Score: 90
2. Michael B. Jordan: Jordan has the looks for leading man status and he also earned the right kind of critical buzz for his performance in “Fruitvale Station.” The jury, however, is still out about his full-scale star power. Being cast as the Human Torch in the “Fantastic Four” film franchise should allow the 27-year-old actor to cultivate an international following. He has also signed on to play the lead role in “Creed,” a spinoff of the successful “Rocky” film franchise that could possibly shore up his fan base among critics. Score: 85
3. Anthony Mackie: The 35-year-old actor has selected his film roles wisely, with a tight mix of commercial and critically acclaimed projects that have earned him a respected place in cinema. He consistently delivers solid performances and his box office numbers are high. Score: 80
4. Chadwick Boseman: The 37-year-old actor is currently turning heads for his performance as James Brown in “Get On Up,” which follows his successful turn as Jackie Robinson in last year’s “42.” Boseman will almost surely do well during the coming award season, so it will be interesting to see what he comes up with next. Score: 70
5. Damon Wayans Jr: The eldest son and namesake of the comedy legend is making quick moves toward stardom. So far, the actor has built a respectable résumé of roles on both TV and film, which is a proven formula for big time acting success. Score: 70
Look for our black actress tally next week.
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