June 6, 2020 at 10:12 pm #1203519920
Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Will Smith. Three of the biggest actors of the 1980s-2000s era, in terms of box office, public presence, and the popularity of many of their films. However, unlike some of their contemporaries in popular film (Pitt, Clooney, DiCaprio, etc.), none of their multiple Oscar nominations ever culminated in a win for any of them, and it seems they each have been lost in the shuffle of recent years. Cruise hasn’t been nominated since 1999, Smith hasn’t since 2006, and Depp hasn’t since 2007 (although Smith and Depp were both buzzed heavily as recently as 2015, for Concussion and Black Mass respectively), and none was able to earn more than three nominations (Smith only received two) despite being some of the biggest stars in the world.
However, I don’t think that any of them are necessarily completely lost causes in terms of future Oscar success. Despite the roles not necessarily materializing for any of them recently, I think there is still enough public goodwill for them (or at least among the industry), despite controversies in Cruise/Depp’s personal lives, that with the right role they could all ride a comeback/overdue/starpower narrative to another nomination if not a win going forward.
Cruise, who is consistently talked up for his dedication to stuntwork, could follow a narrative such as DiCaprio’s about the intense physicality of the role is he were to pair that with a non-franchise role that the Academy could go for (the upcoming Doug Liman/SpaceX film could absolutely be that, for the rigor of actually filming in space).
Depp arguably hasn’t put in a good performance since his latest nomination (if not even earlier than that) but I think if he really put in the work, he has the capability to wow us all and get their attention once more, albeit I think this is the least likely of the three. Minamata appears to be divisive, and his only other upcoming movie listed in IMDb (Fantastic Beasts 3) isn’t going anywhere close to an Oscar for him, but maybe some other, yet to be announced movie could be the one for him.
Since Smith’s last nomination for The Pursuit of Happyness, aside from Concussion he’s largely been in films that are either widely maligned (Seven Pounds, Focus, Collateral Beauty), are too genre for Oscars’ taste (I Am Legend, Hancock, Men in Black 3 Aladdin, Bad Boys for Life), or both (After Earth, Suicide Squad, Bright). However, I would also say he is probably the most likely to be able to mount this kind of resurgence narrative. Unlike Cruise and Depp, his personal life has been almost completely spotless and he is still beloved by everyone in Hollywood. He has two very buzzy movies/roles upcoming – as Venus and Serena Williams’ father in King Richard, and as gangster Nicky Barnes in The Council. We’ll have to wait and see about these of course, but I would keep an eye out for one of these films to get him that kind of talk once more.
What do you think of the possible future Oscar hopes for these three stars? Do you see it happening for any of them, or is a win (or even another nomination) out of the question for all of them?June 7, 2020 at 12:20 am #1203520036
Will Smith remains a possibility. So does Depp if we’re being honest as it turns out the allegations against him from his ex-wife are exaggerated. I wonder if Smith will ever be humble enough to take a supporting in a dramatic piece?
Cruise clearly scares people these days with his total devotion to his religion and making route commercial movies.June 7, 2020 at 3:51 am #1203520118
Cruise after Magnolia/Eyes Wide Shut has relegated himself into being an intense action movie star, so I don’t we’ll ever see him being back in the conversation.
Depp’s latest possibility of being back in the awards conversation is maybe Minamata this year, but still I don’t think it has the quality or buzz to earn him a nomination, let alone a win. He isn’t picky or respected like DiCaprio, Bale, Phoenix, or a movie star like Pitt.
Unlike these actors, he is not asked by A list filmmakers, and most of the time, especially in this decade, he doesn’t star in great films, so i don’t think we’ll ever see him too back again for an Oscar.
The only among the three who seems to have a concrete possibility is Will Smith, he has King Richard, slated for late 2021, and backed by Warner Bros. I think he’s definitely the closest among the three to have a chance for an Oscar for this movie.June 7, 2020 at 5:08 am #1203520155
Will Smith could pull it off, he just needs another good role.
Depp might be able to do it, but he’d need some sort of narrative. The performance itself probably won’t be enough.
I honestly think Cruise could get an Oscar nod for whatever this space movie he has coming up is. Other than that, no.
"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in an argument." - William Gibbs McAdooJune 7, 2020 at 6:14 am #1203520197
Will Smith absolutely could win an Oscar. He still turns in mostly good performances in his roles.
Tom Cruise isn’t winning an Oscar until he starts doing more non-action films. Otherwise, he’ll be seen as a one-trick pony.
Johnny Depp is a tricky choice. Some voters may have permanently written him off due to his film choices in the last decade and the abuse allegations against him by Amber Heard.June 8, 2020 at 3:02 am #1203521163This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.June 8, 2020 at 7:42 pm #1203522807
Smith is possible, he just needs to finally make a decent film. Now that the public has turned against Amber Heard, Depp’s career isn’t quite as destroyed as we once thought, but again, he needs to actually do something good. Cruise, however is done.June 9, 2020 at 1:47 am #1203523126
Smith is definitely possible and has a real shot (depending on the movie being good of course) for the very Oscar-friendly King Richard out late next year.June 9, 2020 at 11:49 am #1203523841
I would love to see Johnny Depp with an Oscar, he was so underrated in the 90s, he is one of my favorite actors but in the last years he has been making bad movies, I think he has a chance, Hollywood loves the comebacks and if Johnny works in a project with a serious director in the future he might win.June 9, 2020 at 11:59 am #1203523868
Cruise is going to win one, whether its honorary – Jackie Chan-like win or for some supporting role when he isn’t doing stunt works and free to HAM sitting down. His filmography is iconic and big enough to warrant one.June 9, 2020 at 12:07 pm #1203523891
They’ll probably give a mediocre performance in some Oscar bait film in their old age and win Supporting Actor.
My profile on Letterboxd https://letterboxd.com/IcecreambJune 9, 2020 at 12:23 pm #1203523929
I mean looking at what each has coming up:
Cruise: Top Gun: Maverick could get him a Golden Globe nomination but wouldn’t think it would be in Oscar conversation at all.
Smith: King Richard seems like Oscar bait.
Depp: Minamata seems like Oscarbait…..but the only other thing i can see listed for him down the road is fantistic beasts 3-4 and another pirates movie.June 15, 2020 at 9:15 am #1203534158
He has the talent to dig deep. I hope that Aronofsky/Cuaron/ Ho/ Haigh wants to cast him in a drama
Amazing actor waisting his talent in mediocre movies.
I really cannot imagine this guy getting an Oscar. Just no. He tries really hard though. Not very charming in being desperateJune 15, 2020 at 11:31 am #1203534426
Cruise is going to win one, whether its honorary – Jackie Chan-like win or for some supporting role when he isn’t doing stunt works and free to HAM sitting down. His filmography is iconic and big enough to warrant one.
Yeah, but unlike Chan, Cruise is a controversial and divisive figure.
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