Wednesday, December 28, 2011

LAMB Acting School 101: Don Cheadle

Each month, The LAMB has a series where bloggers get together to write reviews of a particular actor’s work. Here at Never Too Early Movie Predictions, I look forward instead of backward, so I thought it might be fun to look ahead at what the actor of the month has coming up on his calendar for the next several years.

This month’s actor is Don Cheadle. Cheadle has been nominated for an Oscar for his leading role in Hotel Rwanda, and has been lauded for his supporting roles in films that have caught Oscar’s attention (Crash, Traffic), and others that have been box office successes (Iron Man, the Ocean’s trilogy).

Cheadle was recently nominated for a Black Reel award for his supporting role in The Guard, while his co-star Brendan Gleeson picked up a Golden Globe nomination for best comedic actor. The film is a comedy about an Irish policeman and an FBI agent working to bust a drug circle.

Flight will be his next film. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, it will tell the story of an airline pilot (Denzel Washington) who heroically lands a failing airplane, only to be later accused of causing the troubles through his drinking. In addition to Cheadle and Washington, the film stars John Goodman, Melissa Leo and Kelly Reilly.

House Of Lies is a Showtime series which will premiere in 2012. Cheadle stars as management consultant in this comedic look at the lengths that corporate America goes to while screwing the rest of us over.

In Iron Man 3, Cheadle will reprise his role as Robert Downey Jr.’s sidekick, War Machine. Both of the previous films in this franchise received Oscar nominations for Visual Effects, with the first one also receiving a Sound Editing nod. No word yet on whether the film will explain where War Machine was while Iron Man ran off to fight with The Avengers, although there has been some talk of a War Machine Spinoff, so maybe that can explain it.

A Miles Davis Biopic may also be on the way, with Cheadle directing and playing the title character. The film will take place over a day and a half of Davis’ life (which usually promises to be more interesting than those sprawling life-long tales) and will feature a new score by Herbie Hancock (allowing for some potential music awards that aren’t possible when you simply recycle a musician’s songs in their biopics). Personally, I think that this could easily be Cheadle’s ticket back to the Kodak Theater.

In Marching Powder, Cheadle will play Thomas McFadden, a British drug dealer doing time inside a Bolivian prison, who ends up giving tours to tourists. Based upon the book by Rusty Young, the film is being written and directed by Jose Padilha, the Brazilian filmmaker famous for the Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite) movies, and produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company.

Finally, Cheadle is also producing, but not starring in, a biopic of Fritz Pollard, the first African-American to play football in the NFL (and later, the first African-American to coach an NFL team).

So readers, do you think that any of these films have what it takes to make it into future Oscar races? Let me know in the comments!

You can keep track of Don Cheadle’s Oscar chances for each of these projects on my Lead And Supporting Actor page.
Read what my fellow LAMBS have written about Don Cheadle HERE.
Search for other actors featured in LAMB Acting School 101 HERE.
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