Last year seemed to be the year of bombastic new talent, or at least the full realization of existing talent. I mean, Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender certainly existed long before 2011, but they really came into their own stardom this past year. So there's an obvious question of who is left to come into their own this year? I could make a strong bid for Rachel Weisz, who has already proved quite shiveringly powerful in "The Deep Blue Sea", and she still has "The Bourne Legacy" and Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder" coming up. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, too, is in a position of really defining himself, split between films like "The Dark Knight Rises", "Looper", "Premium Rush", and Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln".
On the horizon, however, I can sense that people are just on the edge of singing someone else's praises, and that man is Mads Mikkelsen. It's true that he's surely not new to the game, having appeared as a Bond villain in "Casino Royale", and worked with Nicolas Winding Refn numerous times on films like "Pusher", "Bleeder", and "Valhalla Rising". He's not quite a household name, though that could change rather soon given quite a few opportunistic projects opening up for the skilled actor. The man has recently taken the Best Actor award at this year's Cannes Film Festival for "The Hunt", and that seems to be the catapult for this recent surge of activity.
First up is the pitch perfect casting as villain in the next film in Marvel sub-franchise of "Thor", which is hopefully more than the simplified villainy of the frost giants in the previous film. The even more satiating project on the horizon for Mikkelsen, however, is his recent announcement as title character of NBC's new series, "Hannibal". Based on the famed literary villain, it could be a simple procedural study, but Mikkelsen's casting does hint at something more. We know where it leads, and that it's being pushed forward by Bryan Fuller ("Pushing Daisies") makes it all the more interesting a property.
Needless to say, it would all have been for naught if they didn't have the right person in the title role. Putting Mikkelsen there ensures that I will at least give it the benefit of seeing what they have to present in the pilot. Outside these two recent announcements, it's business as usual for Mikkelsen, with plenty of small projects on horizon. This is admittedly not quite ownership of talk for the entire coming year, but Mikkelsen is likely to gain an even wider fanbase by this recent burst of activity. Perhaps it could lead to him getting notice for projects he truly deserves. But again, it's only hope, and it could very easily come undone.