Special Feature : The Comeback Kids of 2009


Every year we like to countdown 10 possibly-forgotten-discarded-underused-underutilized-unemployed actors who are about to attack the big screen attack with a spiked baseball bat! This year, I’ve selected ten guys who, for the most part, hail from the seedy underbelly of the 1980s – – and all these years later have finally been rediscovered…. mostly sober.

1. Mickey Rourke – Likely to be this year’s Best Actor at the Oscars for his amazing performance in “The Wrestler” (Nicholson’s not going to appreciate someone else stealing his ‘sunglasses at night’ look though is he!?) it’s “been a long way back” (his words) for actor cum boxer cum, er, wrestler Rourke. The almost unrecognizable (let Ivan Drago hump your face with his iron-fist a dozen times and see how you look!) star of such 80s gems as “The Pope of Greenwich Village”, “Nine and a Half Weeks” and “Barfly”, made his quite re entrance a few years back in the film adaptation of John Grisham’s “The Rainmaker” but the one that really had phones ringing was his turn as ‘Big Marv’ in “Sin City” – and from there he snagged “The Wrestler” – undoubtedly Mickey Rourke’s “Raging Bull” (and to think it was nearly Nicolas Cage’s comeback!). He may be still sniffing powder blue from a whore’s butt-crac – but Sid Ganis is right alongside him, blessing the ol’ mighty one – and possibly partaking in some party favours with the wunder kind.

Next In : “Killshot”, “The Informers”, “The Expendables”, “13” and – the big one! – “Iron Man 2”.

2. Eric Stoltz – Now this is what I call a comeback! When I last met with Eric Stoltz he hadn’t done a film since the, er, ill-fated “The Honeymooners” (Never did see it myself, was it as bad as everybody said it was?) and I had to wonder when someone would discover this masterful actor again. Thankfully, someone did – rediscover him, and within a matter of months things started rolling again for the brilliant star of “Killing Zoe” and “Mask”. He snagged a couple of great indy films (“Come Back to Sorrento”, “Fort McCoy” and “The Lather Effect”), some plum TV gigs (He’s currently appearing as a serial killer on TVs “Grey’s Anatomy”) and even got a couple of his own projects off-the-ground (including some amazing internet shorts; wouldn’t be surprised if Stoltz turns out to be the next Ron Howard). Stoltz’s big comeback role though will be as Daniel Graystone, the inventor of the Cyclons (!), in “Caprica” – the highly-anticipated spin-off of “Battlestar Galactica”. And I’m as excited as shit to see him in it. His next film is “First Howl” (yes, which I wrote), in which he plays a redneck werewolf hunter named Rufus D.Kessler – stretch!? Fuck no! The man can do anything!

Next In : “Caprica”, “First Howl”, “Fort McCoy”, “Come Back to Sorrento”, “Blank Slate”

3. Tom Cruise – I guess you’d say last year was actually Cruise’s comeback year – what with his fantastic performance in “Tropic Thunder”, which he was nominated a Golden Globe for, and the intriguing “Valkyrie”, which proved he still had something to offer as an actor – but the next twelve months will be just as interesting for the guy. He’s in a good place right now – if he makes the right move, he could easily become the biggest star in the world again. He’s being as picky as a bitch about what film he does next, but maybe that’s for the best – he wants to come out swinging. Likely to be carrying his name in the future : the thrillers “The Tourist” and “The 28th Amendment”, and another comedy, “Food Fight”. He’s also developing a feature film version of “The Hardy Boys” with his “Tropic Thunder” mate Ben Stiller – which could be a potential pisser! We’ll next see him in Todd Phillips’ “Men”, a comedy about an advertising executive who surreptitiously becomes roommates with his wife’s lover–an egotistical artist–in order to sabotage their affair and save his marriage. Sounds like the perfect film to follow-up “Tropic Thunder” with don’t ya think?

Next In : “Men”, “Food Fight”, “The Tourist”, “The 28th Amendment”

4. Kerri Green – Best known as the foxiest ‘Goonie’ in Chris Columbus & Steven Spielberg’s timeless 80s adventure romp, Kerri Green’s about to make a big splash back into the cinematic ocean with her rousing turn in the independent drama “Complacent”. There’ll be no more bit roles in TV-land (Kerri had guest-spots on shows like “E.R” and “Law and Order” ) after this one…. hey, maybe that “Goonies” sequel will even happen one day!? Yeah, wishful thinking…

Next in : “Complacent”

5. Dolph Lundgren – Rocky’s deadliest adversary has been bought back to life by, funnily enough, Rocky! Yep, Sylvester Stallone is out to resurrect his “Rocky IV” co-star’s career with “The Expendables”, an orgasmic actioner in which Sly and Lundgren play members of a Dirty Dozen-esque gang determined to obliterate a nasty-ass dictator. That’s not all! meanwhile, Sony are trying to coax him into a third “Universal Soldier” alongside original co-star Jean Claude Van Damme (I was planning on including JC in here too – but the guy knocked back a role in the same Stallone film, as I see it, that would’ve been his comeback role) and Lundgren’s also behind a cool-looking action-thriller called “Command Performance” – which has been billed as ‘Die Hard at a Rock Concert’. Welcome back big guy!

Next in : “Command Performance”, “The Expendables”, “Universal Soldier 3”, “Icarus”, “Direct Contact”

6. Judd Nelson – Judd Nelson’s had his ups-and-downs – but things seem to be looking up for him this year in a Trump-sized way. Hopefully it’ll stay that way – the guy (and if you’ve seen his performances in such classics as “New Jack City”, “Relentless”, “St Elmo’s Fire” and, of course, “The Breakfast Club” you’ll attest to it) is a damn fine actor. He deserves to be showcased in something better than a C-grade monster movie or straight-to-cable sex thriller. Thankfully, he’s got some doozies out this year. Nelson will fill the void left by Willem Dafoe in the highly-anticipated sequel to “The Boondock Saints” – that movie did wonders for its cast, particularly Billy Connolly, who nobody suspected could play anything but a lout at that stage, so it’s likely to remind folks that John Bender’s still got it too. Nelson’s also a touching drama named “Ode : The Movie”, an action/thriller called “Fight of Flight”, and J.T Moller’s terrific-sounding “The I Scream Man” – which features Crispin Glover in the lead role.

Next in : “Boondock Saints II : All Saint’s Day”, “The I Scream Man”, “First Howl”, “Ode : The Movie”, “Fight of Flight”, “Dirty Politics”.

7. Ben Affleck – After surprising us all with his brilliant directorial debut “Gone Baby Gone” (wasn’t that friggin great!!?), the world might just be ready for a Ben Affleck-acting comeback (though personally, I think the preponderance of his arty bent might lie behind the camera) – maybe. Affleck’s part of the ensemble comedy “He’s Just Not That into You” which, going only by the trailers, looks like it could be quite a good film. He’s also in Mike Judge’s new comedy “Extract” – which is bound to be a laugh-and-a-half. And last but not least he’s in the highly-anticipated “State of Play” with Russell Crowe. Three potentially good films – and that’s not including the film’s he’s producing and will possibly direct (like “Prince of Thieves”).

Next in : “He’s Just Not That Into You”, “Extract”, “State of Play”, “The Company Man”

8. Danny Glover – Danny’s never been away, so to speak, he’s always had work – it’s just that in more recent years he’s been relegated to playing hot props in fluff like “Saw” and “Shooter”. This year, he’s got a bunch of things going on – but most notably he’ll be seen in what’s likely to be one of the big blockbusters of the year “2012”. Yes, OK, he may be a hot prop in that too – but he’s playing the U.S President! Very fitting! Shit, he might even get his own action figure! On top of that, DG’s got a bunch of films he’s producing (one on Albert Einstein) and has been in and out of meetings with Warner Bros for “Lethal Weapon 5” – though at the moment that’s on hold (Mel Gibson might be worthy of a spot on the list too; his newie “Edge of Darkness” is likely to be solid – if only because Martin Campbell’s directing) because one particular cast member isn’t keen to do it. Give him twelve months.

Next In : “2012”, “Por Vida, “Way of the Warrior”, “Once Was Lost”

9. Tom Atkins – The 80s horror icon, best known for his roles in “Halloween III” and “The Fog” (he also shared the screen with the chap above in “Lethal Weapon”), makes a much welcome return to the big screen (and the genre) in Patrick Lussier’s “My Bloody Valentine” remake. Quint from Aint it Cool News recently had the opportunity to chat to the man himself who gushed about working with Lussier (maybe we should be including Pat in this list!?) on the film. ‘’As an actor working with him, he was terrific to work with, a wonderful guy and I thought he got everything out of the film he could get and he put it all up on the screen. None of it got left anywhere.’’ This one’ll likely revive his career! And we welcome it!

Next In : “My Bloody Valentine 3D”, “Shannon’s Rainbow”, “Small Time Crime”

10. Christopher Showerman – I represent the guy, so nothing but a big fat Conflict of Interest here, but fuck it, I think Showerman’s about to have one of the best years of his career so why the hell not include him here!? You’ll all know my long-time friend/producing partner as the muscly chap Disney asked to replace Brendan Fraser in “George of the Jungle 2”, and some of you may have seen him in “CSI Miami” or the forgettable Lionsgate thriller “Sea of Fear”, but come 2009 you’ll see him in a bevy of great projects – including “Big Game” – a terrific kidnapping caper co-starring C.Thomas Howell and Rachel Avery, “Commander and Chief” – which is a satire on the Bush administration, “Parfection” – a terrific golf comedy from a wonderfully talented director named Drew Rosenberg, and “Complacent” with Cerina Vincent and Joey Kern, which you’ll have recently seen the trailer of. Shower Power also recently wrapped “A Night at the Bijou” with ‘Candyman’ himself Tony Todd and currently appears in theaters in “Live Free, Die Young”.

Next In : “Big Game”, “Commander and Chief”, “Complacent”, “Parfection”, “A Night at the Bijou”, “First Howl”, “Shalloween”.