Where are next generation stars like Sylvester Stallone, Nic Cage...

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Keanu Reeves, Mel Gibson, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, Van Damme, Tom Cruise etc. I missed a lot more but these guys have the x factor charm, charisma, Some incredibly good looking and screen presence, but most of them are getting old now or no longer in their prime and I don't see or failed to see any new or upcoming actors with the same presence. Or is this the end of an era?

Actors like The Rock, Chris Hemsworth, Bradley Cooper to name a few just don't seem to have "it".



Pretty hard to have a meaningful conversation about a nebulous concept like "it."

I think what people are actually expressing when they say things like that are a stratified media landscape that no longer allows for actors that appeal to multiple generations at once, and such statements about star power or charisma or presence are actually not about the actors at all.



Heroes now can't just be muscles out heroes.

I know what you mean about the "it" though.
Yoda once called me "The go-to guy for fun, schlocky pulpy action films"... and I totally get what it is.

The problem is politicised Hollywood and the power of social media.
You can't have new Arnies or new Stallones, new Seagals or even superheroes that are simply muscles out actioners anymore.
Not really.
Not when action movies need to be catered to a new audience... and current modern audiences as a majority, they like their protagonists ("heroes") to be floppy-haired, in their teens, and have modern existential problems like sexuality, race, and gender.
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John Wick I think is the closest we have from modern cinema to 80s movies.
I mean, a man wronged, and goes on an relentless march of neverending victory.
John Wick could almost be Commando and/or anything made by Steven Seagal.

The reason I think John Wick has gone down with audiences so well, is because it's a throwback to the movies and action stars of old.. and Keanu Reeves is still able to carry the genre so well.
John Wick is a breath of fresh air amongst the "Loki is now bi-sexual" bilge that Hollywood seems intent on throwing into the mix when it comes to action stars and the stories their characters are embroiled in.
Studios need to keep things fresh, and if making Doctor WHO a woman, or making Loki bi will sell tickets, they'll do it.

There's just no place really for Steven Seagal relentlessly kicking relentless ass relentlessly, repeatedly, without any motivation other than "it looks cool on camera", in modern cinema.

I've been avoiding the term Woke, but, then again, I've just said it in this sentence.
It's not "Woke society"... it's just society has moved on from the muscles out invincible hero... and actors today, are, well, better cast than they used to be.
Society wants heroes with contemporary problems... and contemporary actors are able to portray that. In the 1980s, Arnie, Seagal and Stallone, were, well, Arnie, Seagal and Stallone. Not much acting talent, but looked good smashing heads together relentlessly.

Societal changes have an effect, and they affect, the actual characters we see in the movies of that time.


Brainless, muscles-out action films and stars will probably come around again. Maybe in the mid 2020s.
Hollywood goes through motions.
I mean, 3D movies were around in the late 1890s. Then vanished. Then came around in the 1920s. Vanished. Then the 1940s. Then vanished. Then the 60s. Then the 80s. Then vanished. Then appeared again in the late 2000s with Avatar.
Now 3D has vanished again. Give it till around 2035, and they'll appear again.

Action meat-heads will appear again soon.
I'll put money on it
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I think that there are plenty of actors who have great presence and can carry either a big action film or a smaller indie/drama. But I also think that the rise of prestige television means that acting talent is spread out a bit more between different types of movies/shows/etc.

Tom Hardy, Jon Bernthal, and actors like that have more going for them in terms of presence and acting talent, but are also believable physical presences. I might even throw someone like Ryan Reynolds in there, who has definitely staked out a brand of charmingly irreverent action-comedy.

It's also important to consider that "it" really varies by who you are. I can enjoy someone with big arms shooting their way through hundreds of anonymous baddies, but to me that doesn't really put someone in the star category.

I think that Robert Pattinson has a ton of star quality, despite writing him off after watching Twilight. Then I watched Good Time and High Life and I was like "Oh, dang!". I'll be interested to see what I think of him in his Batman role.



There’s Gyllenhaal and Adrien Brody. Plenty walking around.
Adrian has featured in SuccessionHBO in a single episode so far & he was so good. I was afraid that a famous actor would make his scenes top-heavy, but it wasn’t like that at all. No clue if he’s returning in another episode. Hope so. (Alexander Skarsgård is coming onboard too.)
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Adrian has featured in SuccessionHBO in a single episode so far & he was so good. I was afraid that a famous actor would make his scenes top-heavy, but it wasn’t like that at all. No clue if he’s returning in another episode. Hope so. (Alexander Skarsgård is coming onboard too.)
Like both, but Brody is something else. I was SO into him years back. My mother and I were both obsessed for a bit after watching Love the Hard Way. Rather rubbish film, but he is unforgettable there.

Really looking forward to season 3 now!



I think that there are plenty of actors who have great presence and can carry either a big action film or a smaller indie/drama. But I also think that the rise of prestige television means that acting talent is spread out a bit more between different types of movies/shows/etc.

Tom Hardy, Jon Bernthal, and actors like that have more going for them in terms of presence and acting talent, but are also believable physical presences. I might even throw someone like Ryan Reynolds in there, who has definitely staked out a brand of charmingly irreverent action-comedy.

It's also important to consider that "it" really varies by who you are. I can enjoy someone with big arms shooting their way through hundreds of anonymous baddies, but to me that doesn't really put someone in the star category.

I think that Robert Pattinson has a ton of star quality, despite writing him off after watching Twilight. Then I watched Good Time and High Life and I was like "Oh, dang!". I'll be interested to see what I think of him in his Batman role.
Same re: Pattinson and Good Time, though what stood out much more to me was The Lighthouse.



Same re: Pattinson and Good Time, though what stood out much more to me was The Lighthouse.
I think he actually has a really solid filmography at this point. He was really good in Damsel, Cosmopolis, The Rover, The Devil All the Time, The Lost City of Z, and in his smaller role in The King.

He's someone who will go "all in" for a role, and it adds a very watchable intensity to his performances.



I think he actually has a really solid filmography at this point. He was really good in Damsel, Cosmopolis, The Rover, The Devil All the Time, The Lost City of Z, and in his smaller role in The King.

He's someone who will go "all in" for a role, and it adds a very watchable intensity to his performances.
Yes, Pattinson is definitely star quality.

Nobody mentioned Ryan Gosling. He’s also terrific IMO.



Yes, Pattinson is definitely star quality.

Nobody mentioned Ryan Gosling. He’s also terrific IMO.
Count me as a fan of Ryan Gosling. Not so much Jake Gyllenhaal, though he's probably better suited to Hollywood style blockbuster-action films than Gosling is.



I suppose we are just naming males in terms of 'stars', so I'll submit Daniel Kaluuya's name here because I expect him to reach that status if he isn't already there.



I suppose we are just naming males in terms of 'stars', so I'll submit Daniel Kaluuya's name here because I expect him to reach that status if he isn't already there.
Yes, though I get the sense that the OP is angling more at male action stars in more of the big budget macho man vein.



Every generation begins to wane at some point (making way for new blood).

And for those stars who retain popularity, they must usually transition to different types of roles suited to older actors (i.e. you'll probably never see Rocky box again - at least as played by Stallone - but I could be wrong because people said that before Balboa in 2006 - and I haven't seen any of the Creed movies so I don't know if he gets in the ring at any point to do more than spar.)



Yes, though I get the sense that the OP is angling more at male action stars in more of the big budget macho man vein.
If that's the case, then I think that already mostly went out of style 30+ years ago, when Bruce Willis, Keanu Reeves, and Nicholas Cage became what we think of as "action heroes".



Every generation begins to wane at some point (making way for new blood).

And for those stars who retain popularity, they must usually transition to different types of roles suited to older actors (i.e. you'll probably never see Rocky box again - at least as played by Stallone - but I could be wrong because people said that before Balboa in 2006 - and I haven't seen any of the Creed movies so I don't know if he gets in the ring at any point to do more than spar.)

He decided to age gracefully in the Creed movies.


The Rambo movies are where he's still ****ing people up with his bare hands despite being over 70.


There are many ways to age onscreen.



How about less of an action film, but more of a gritty crime story (with a dose of comedy) where John McClane (Bruce Willis) teams up with Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy)?



Regarding the OP's question, I'm sure somebody can offer better substantiated industry analysis, but I think the kind of star vehicles that those actors rose to the top in are increasingly rare. Big budget movies are increasingly tied to existing IPs and mid-budget movies don't really exist anymore, so there are fewer and fewer cases where a movie can be sold by its stars alone, making it difficult for new ones to emerge. As for why exactly Tom Cruise and Arnie had "it" and Dwayne Johnson and co. don't, but I'd wager that trying to stake out a career in this current climate encourages one to be risk averse and less idiosyncratic in their presence and choice of roles.



As for macho action flicks, that kind of movie has mostly gone to the DTV space. I won't claim to be an expert, but if you seen out films by John Hyams (son of Peter), Isaac Florentine and Jesse V. Johnson, you probably won't go wrong. I will humbly recommend Universal Soldier: Regeneration, Ninja and Avengement from their respective bodies of work.