If 2011 was the year when Michael Fassbender’s and Jessica Chastain’s careers soared, 2012 will be the one for Joseph Gordon-Levitt (or JGL)!
Gordon-Levitt is already more of a household name than Fassbender and Chastain. Those who are around my age, and thus familiar with NBC’s mid-90s Must See TV Thursday night lineup, know JGL from the popular sitcom “3rd Rock from the Sun”. Gordon-Levitt played an alien sent to Earth assuming the form of a human teenager in order to observe human behaviour. The sitcom played for 6 seasons and made JGL into a teen idol, which he vehemently resented.
Following the end of the sitcom and that of his teen idol status, JGL attended Columbia University and slowed down on the acting jobs. After taking small roles in independent films as of the mid-2000s, Gordon-Levitt came back into the spotlight in 2009 thanks his lead role in the wonderful romantic dramedy “(500) Days of Summer”. JGL garnered great reviews for his portrayal of a lovefool and lovelorn, depending on the moment in the film ;), and subsequently garnered his first Golden Globe nomination (Best Actor in a Comedy).
Then we started to see Gordon-Levitt more often like as Cobra Commander in “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” and hosting “Saturday Night Live”, amongst others. Lucky for us, James Franco had to drop out of his role in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” (2010) ’cause JGL got the part. I have a hard time imagining that spell-binding elevator scene with anyone other than Gordon-Levitt, nor being Leonardo diCaprio’s wing man. I also can’t imagine “50/50” with anyone other than him. The restraint and emotion he put in his cancer stricken character was very touching; the chemistry with Seth Rogen’s character very believable. Gordon-Levitt got a second Golden Globe nomination (Best Actor in a Comedy) to boot. Can you imagine that James McAvoy was supposed to play that part? As much as I like McAvoy as an actor, I can’t see anyone else in that role! Joseph Gordon-Levitt OWNED it!
So why do I say that this is the year of Joseph Gordon-Levitt? After all, I kinda prove that he’s already out there and well known. True! But what will make 2012 HIS year is the projects he’s got coming out. Except for “G.I. Joe” and “Inception”, his previous projects were mainly small and good independent films. 2012 will have Gordon-Levitt in bigger and (seemingly) good studio films. Hopefully for him, his visibility will increase but what I mainly wish is that his credibility will go beyond that of a comedic actor. To me, JGL has proven that he can do comedy, sing and dance, but that he’s also extremely convincing in drama. As mentioned previously, the range he demonstrates in “50/50” is exceptional. Few actors could’ve created the perfect balance with such heavy subject matter. He can definitely do it all!
Here are the projets in chronological release order. Scheduled release dates in parenthesis:
- “The Dark Knight Rises” (July 20, 2012): the third installment in Nolan’s Batman reboot needs no introduction. JGL is set to play a cop assigned to special duty by Commissioner Gordon. A vague description but that’s alright ’cause I love to be surprised by Nolan 🙂
- “Premium Rush” (August 24, 2012): JGL plays a New York City bike courrier being chased by a dirty cop (the always excellent Michael Shannon) who wants the contents of an enveloppe he’s carrying. Summer blockbuster fare but with JGL and Shannon, it should be good.
- “Lincoln” (end of 2012): Steven Spielberg’s biography on Abraham Lincoln, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, is one of my most anticipated films of 2012. JGL will play Lincoln’s oldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, a Harvard graduate and Captain of the Union Army. It’ll be interesting to see JGL in a historical drama, which is the type of Spielberg film I prefer of late.
- “Django Unchained” (Christmas 2012): If the previous film was ONE of my most anticipated films of the year, this one is THE most anticipated film of 2012 for me. A western directed by Quentin Tarantino, Jamie Foxx plays a freed slave who travels across the United States with a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) in order to free his wife from a sadistic plantation owner (Leonardo diCaprio). Cool casting, eh? Little is known of JGL’s role, the character’s name is different on Wikipedia and IMDb, but having a Tarantino film on a resume is certainly a great thing!
- And that’s just 2012! His feature length directorial debut is scheduled for 2013 and will star Scarlett Johansson. Plus his open collaborative projects website, hitRECord, is increasing in popularity.Check it out: http://hitrecord.org/
So here’s hoping to a GREAT year for Joseph Gordon-Levitt! And perhaps a cherry on the sundae? An Oscar nomination 😉
PS The REALLY COOL song and dance sequence from “(500) Days of Summer”, JGL dances to Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True”.