Fall Movie Preview: 9 Breakout Child Stars, Oscar Contenders, Action Heroes and Scream Queens to Watch
By John Boone
There are dozens upon dozens upon dozens upon dozens of new movies coming out this fall (here are 35 that we're particularly excited for) and oodles of awards season-worthy performances within them. But we've whittled that all down to these nine (9!) stars who we're pretty dang confident will break out and who you'll be hearing much more about for many years to come. So, you might as well get to know them now.
1. The Losers' Club (Chosen Jacobs, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Oleff) From It
Age: 14 (except Lillis, who is 15) Where You've Seen Them: Lieberher co-starred with Bill Murray in the feel-good dramedy St. Vincent; Oleff played Young Peter Quill in both volumes of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise; and, of course, Wolfhard plays Mike Wheeler on Netflix's hit series Stranger Things.
Breakout Moment: Bill Skarsgård is getting plenty of attention for his turn as Pennywise -- as well as the fact that, y'know, he's hot -- but It hinged on the talented cast of kids: sweet Bill (Lieberher), bullied Ben (Taylor), bold Beverly (Lillis), wisecracking Richie (Wolfhard), resilient Mike (Jacobs), nebbish Eddie (Grazer) and scaredy-cat Stanley (Oleff). Most had projects on the horizon before It became a massive box office hit -- Lillis was cast as Amy Adams’ younger self in HBO's limited series Sharp Objects, Grazer plays Bobby Moynihan's younger self in the CBS sitcom Me, Myself and I and season two of Stranger Things premieres Oct. 27 -- but their agents' phones must be ringing off the hook these days.
2. Andrea Riseborough From Battle of the Sexes
Age: 35 Where You've Seen Her: Riseborough is an English actress who has been working steadily for a decade now, with roles in the Madonna-directed W.E., Nocturnal Animals and Birdman (which won the 2014 SAG Award for Best Ensemble).
Breakout Moment:Birdman was actually the first time that Riseborough co-starred with Emma Stone in a film -- though most of her scenes were shared with Naomi Watts. In Battle of the Sexes, the actresses become intimately intertwined. Riseborough plays Marilyn Barnett, a hairdresser who catches Billie Jean King's eye and with whom she starts an affair. We wouldn’t be surprised if the actress' supporting work as Marilyn -- tender and understanding, while at the same time unapologetic and sensual -- earns Riseborough awards season attention next year. Up next for her is an episode in the upcoming season of Black Mirror titled "Crocodile."
3. Taron Egerton From Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Age: 27 Where You've Seen Him: Playing "Eggsy" in Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Breakout Moment: Egerton should have broken big after the first Kingsman movie, in which he proved himself equally funny, charming and hunky. He should have quickly been cast as another action hero or romantic lead or any number of 20-something dudes, but his parts in the Tom Hardy-plays-twins movie Legend and Hugh Jackman co-starrer Eddie the Eagle didn't exactly capture his true potential. (He also voiced a singing gorilla in Sing.) The Golden Circle is like the original on crack, and he proves himself just as funny, just as charming and, yes, just as hunky. His future looks more promising this time: Next year he’ll be playing the titular hero in a new take on Robin Hood with Jamie Foxx and Jamie Dornan.
4. Kiersey Clemons From Flatliners and Justice League
Age: 23 Where You've Seen Her: Clemons has appeared on TV in the Halle Berry thriller Extant and a reoccurring role on Transparent, along with notable film work in Dope and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.
Breakout Moment: As far as hot properties go, Clemons has two arriving in theaters in as many months. First up, the it's-not-a-reboot-it's-a-sequel Flatliners, which -- as with the original sci-fi thriller from 1990 -- centers on medical students (including Clemons, Ellen Page and Diego Luna) who experiment in near-death experiments to study the afterlife. Then she is on to arguably the biggest superhero movie of the year, Justice League, in which she is supposed to have a small role previewing her take on Iris West, reporter and romantic interest for Ezra Miller's Barry Allen aka The Flash ahead of their solo film, Flashpoint, set for 2020.
5. Jessica Rothe From Happy Death Day
Age: 30 Where You've Seen Her: Rothe was Emma Stone's green dress-wearing roommate ("Alexis") in La La Land.
Breakout Moment: Not every wannabe queen who screams in a horror movie is worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of great Scream Queens, but Rothe screams with the best of 'em. In the delightfully titled Happy Death Day, she plays a college coed murdered by a baby doll mask-wearing killer on her birthday. (Bummer!) Then she wakes up and is forced to relive -- or, re-die -- the same day over and over and over again until she identifies her murderer. If song and dance is more your speed, you can wait for Rothe to get her La La Land on again in an upcoming musical remake of the 1983 MGM film Valley Girl.
6. Millicent Simmonds From Wonderstruck
Age: 14 Where You've Seen Her: You haven't! This is her first role.
Breakout Moment: To cast the lead of his film -- Rose, a 12-year-old deaf girl who lives in 1927 Hoboken and is obsessed with silent movie star Lillian Mayhew (played by Oscar winner Julianne Moore) -- Carol director Todd Haynes embarked on a nationwide search, specifically working with the deaf community. He eventually found newcomer Simmonds in Utah, and golly, was it worth his effort. She delivers a gorgeous debut, a lovely performance that captures both Rose's loneliness and awe in expressive nuance. She is currently shooting John Krasinski's directorial effort A Quiet Place, which co-stars Emily Blunt.
7. Taika Waititi From Thor: Ragnarok
Age: 42 Where You've Seen Him: Waititi played Tom Kalmaku in Ryan Reynold's ill-fated Green Lantern movie and has had parts in each of his own projects, including Viago in What We Do in the Shadows and the preacher in Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
Breakout Moment: This is the man responsible for making Thor funny. The New Zealand director helms the third installment of the Marvel franchise and the most anticipated movie of the fall, Thor: Ragnarok, and finally embraced Chris Hemsworth's comedic chops. Of course, Waititi also left a role for himself: Thor's newfound ally, the scene-stealing Korg, an 8-foot tall rock creature in a “2017 metal bikini." Next up, he'll be behind the camera for the WWII dramedy Jojo Rabbit and is reportedly in talks to take the reins on the live-action Akira.
8. Timothée Chalamet From Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird
Age: 21 Where You've Seen Him: You may recognize Chalamet from parts in movies like Interstellar and Miss Stevens, but you probably just know him as Finn Walden, the vice president's annoying son on Homeland.
Breakout Moment: Chalamet was once rumored to be on Marvel's short list to play Peter Parker, before Tom Holland was ultimately cast in the role. And while playing Spider-Man probably would have been its own big break, Chalamet was instead able to star in not one, but two movies that are getting Oscar buzz: first up as aloof rocker Kyle in Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird, and then with a thoughtful and tender turn as a 17-year-old coming of age in Call Me by Your Name, a performance that will likely earn Chalamet his first Best Actor nomination. He is now shooting Woody Allen's next film opposite Selena Gomez.
9. Kelly Marie Tran From Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Age: 28 Where You've Seen Her: Unless you recognize her as "Butterfly Rave Girl" from Netflix' XOXO or are familiar with her extensive work with CollegeHumor, she's likely a fresh face.
Breakout Moment: It must be pretty intimidating joining an iconic franchise like Star Wars -- even more so when the other new recruits are played by the likes of Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern. Tran's Rose is pivotal to The Last Jedi, though -- she's a reluctant hero, a Resistance mechanic who starts off as a Finn (John Boyega) fangirl -- and she is guaranteed to be the breakout star of the movie. Director Rian Johnson has compared her to Mark Hamill's young Luke Skywalker, for porg's sake! ET caught up with Tran at her first Star Wars Celebration, where she was pinching herself. "That's kind of been the last two years of my life," she said. "A dream."