The concept of Peak Oil – the point where global oil production begins to inexorably decline – has long been thrown around, particularly by those with an eye for a dystopic future. But when will we hit Peak Australian Actor, the moment when there is no longer enough talented expatriates to star in Hollywood productions? It may be looming, but this week at least we're satisfying demand.
There was a time when Liam Hemsworth's greatest acting achievement was having both Neighbours and Home and Away on his resume, but that's in the past now. The lean 21-year-old, whose older Brother Chris has his own franchise via Thor and the forthcoming superhero extravaganza The Avengers, has already been cast in The Hunger Games (pictured), the adaptation of the very popular series of young adult novels that may pick up where the Twilight series will soon leave off.
Hemsworth will star opposite Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, X-Men: First Class) for director Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit), in the story of a future America where teens take part in a televised fight to the death (imagine American Idol with more weapons), and now he's on the shortlist to play the son of Bruce Willis' John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth installment of the greying series. Director John Moore shoots in Russia early next year, and hopefully they'll bring back Mary-Elizabeth Winstead, who as McClane's feisty daughter, Lucy, was the best thing in 2007's Live Free or Die Hard. She had a solid right hook.
Jason Clarke, another Australian actor who found success via American cable television series and is currently back in Sydney playing duped murderer George Wilson for Baz Luhrmann in his adaptation of The Great Gatsby, was the first person cast for what was once titled Seal Team 6. The long in the works production, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal (the team behind The Hurt Locker), is about the hunt for Osama Bin-Laden. The project has reportedly gone through numerous incarnations, most notably after Bin-Laden's killing in May of this year provided a new ending.
Another Australian, Guy Pearce, who had such a memorably brief turn in The Hurt Locker, is in talks to join Clarke as those hunting the terrorist leader, with non-Australians including Idris Elba (The Wire), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Tom Hardy (Bronson, 2012's The Dark Knight Rises) also up for roles in the ensemble cast. The question is: which Australian would play Osama Bin-Laden?
Elsewhere Radha Mitchell (The Waiting City, Surrogates) plays a creepily perfect Los Angeles housewife in the independent title Playdate, Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom, The Great Gatsby) is being pursued for everything from the 300 sequel to Steven Soderbergh's update of the sixties spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and seemingly everyone else has been scooped up by the Oldboy director Park Chan-wook for his creepy English language debut, Stoker: Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Jackie Weaver all feature. The ball is back in your court, NIDA.