The nine men are (in order of second win):
1. Spencer Tracy, 2. Fredric March, 3. Gary Cooper, 4. Marlon Brando, 5. Dustin Hoffman, 6. Tom Hanks, 7. Jack Nicholson, 8. Daniel Day-Lewis, and 9. Sean Penn.
Sure, the right role and film could allow one of these men to make history with a 3 lead win, but I imagine that each of these men has an extra hurdle to transcend, much the same way Meryl Streep does, in that picking up that 3rd lead trophy is highly unprecedented.
Of the 9 double winners, Tom Hanks directs, writes, stars in his feel-good Summer flick Larry Crowne, where as Sean Penn has some more award friendly potential projects (the anticipated Tree of Life, and the smaller film This Must Be the Place).
But that doesn't mean there's not room for a 10th man to join the double win team. So with that lengthy preface and background...
Here's the contenders from the cinema of 2011:
Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Americana
Previous Win: Capote, 2005
I honestly could see Hoffman picking up a supporting nomination for some of his upcoming work before another lead role, particularly one that matches his skills like Capote did. But at this time, he is rumored to play the lead role opposite Kate Winslet in Americana as an 1860s confederate slave owner who flees to Brazil to escape his past. It could be the right type of film, but will it come out, will it be this year, and will it star Hoffman?
Adrian Brody, Detachment
Previous Win: The Pianist, 2002
I typically wouldn't immediately consider a comedy-drama about schools told through the eyes of a substitute teacher (Henry Barthes played by Brody) a Oscar type of performance, but when Tony Kaye the popular music video producer and film activist most famous for directing American History X makes a movie about the decline of the American education system, I have to think Brody might be worth at least looking for.
Russell Crowe, The Man With The Iron Fist
Previous Win: Gladiator, 2000
As ridiculous as it is to include Crowe her on this list and for this film, I can't help for the off-beat chance something crazy happens. The Man With The Iron Fist is the debut film of musician/actor RZA (co-founder of the Wu-Tang Clan) in a script RZA wrote with violent screenwriter/director Eli Roth. The martial arts film in fuedal China is about a blacksmith who puts himself in a position where he must defend himself. I write all of this thinking I should delete, but again, I can't help but include it.
Geoffrey Rush, The Eye of The Storm
Previous Win: Shine, 1996
A high concept Australian film about an old lady in control of everything (played by Charlotte Rampling) tries to also control her death. Geoffrey Rush co-leads as one of the children alongside Judy Davis and Rampling. The film is based off of the book with the same name by Australian Nobel Prize laureate Patrick White.
William Hurt, Late Bloomers
Previous Win: Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1985
I don't expect Hurt to show up as a nominee here or anytime soon, although with the right role it could be a nice surprise. In this film Hurt plays an aging husband opposite Isabella Rossellini, as they struggle in their marriage and their three grown children try to keep them together.
Robert Duvall, Seven Days in Utopia
Previous Win: Tender Mercies, 1983
The role Duvall plays in the co-lead would probably be pushed supporting in any circumstance that puts this film on the radar, but only in the most sentimental move or surprise popularity of this inspiration golf film would we find Duvall even having a chance, although I'm sure he will perform well in the character. The film based on the book Golf's Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links in Utopia pairs an older teacher (Duvall) with a young man trying to make it on the pro-tour (Lucas Black).
Richard Dreyfuss, The Big Valley
Previous Win: The Goodbye Girl, 1977
Richard Dreyfuss plays lead opposite Sara Paxton, Jessica Lang, and Aiden Quinn in a remake of the Barbara Stanwyk Western The Big Valley that aired on ABC for four seasons between 1965 and 1969. This film western like the original series takes place in Stockton, California in 1879.
Last Year's Related Post Can Be Found Here. See who we were talking about becoming the 10th double winner last year.
*note: Jack Nicholson has the distinct honor of being the only one of the 9 who has a third trophy, his being for supporting actor does have a supporting actor trophy won for Terms of Endearment.