I don't know if it's the economy, the fall of film (unless it's got a super-hero or has franchise potential), or the rise of the TV drama, but it seems like more and more, you see big name stars heading to TV.
This flock to TV might be assisted by the success of non-network television dramas (as mentioned briefly in my recent post about the Golden Globes).
And I think a strong example of this is HBO's new series "Luck" which stars two time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman (7 Oscar nominations, wins were for Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Man).
In addition to Hoffman, Nick Nolte also stars (2 Oscar nominations himself, no wins).
The HBO series is probably a good move for Hoffman, it keeps him in the game, so to speak, when his recent credits have been less news worthy. Besides some positive thoughts on smaller films, such as Last Chance Harvey, his biggest public presents has been in Little Fockers and doing voice work in the Kung-Fu Panda series.
Which leads me to ask - 9 men have received 2 Oscar wins in the lead acting category. None will receive nominations (as expected) for awards the 2011 performances, with nominations to be announced later this month.
Of the 5 living actors who have received two lead acting nominations - do any of these 5 men have a chance of a third Oscar trophy for work in 2012 films?
Dustin Hoffman. As previously mentioned at this time looks to be busy with his new series Luck with no other 2012 projects scheduled at this time.
Tom Hanks. Even Hanks is working on TV movie producting K Blow Top about Nikkita Khrushchev's, staring the recent frequent TV movie star Paul Giamatti. Hanks only anticipated 2012 credit is Cloud Atlas, a sci-fi ensamble drama of interconnecting stories, which I wouldn't expect to translate to anything close to Oscar nomination or win, especially in the lead category.
Jack Nicholson. Nicholson who's hardly done anything since 2007 Bucketlist, doesn't have any rolls on deck for 2012.
Daniel Day-Lewis. And here is where the ton changes, Daniel Day-Lewis has a knack for picking projects, will be in the Steven Spielberg film event, Lincoln. Yet, if Daniel Day-Lewis were to win the Oscar he would be the first actor to win an Oscar for a role in a Steven Speilberg film.
Sean Penn. Here's another possibility in the 2012 landscape. Penn has a role in a period/biographical film playing the LA gangster, and member of the Jewish mafia, Mickey Cohen in the film The Gangster Squad. That being said, The Gangster Squad film is in the hands of a relatively untested director, Ruben Flescher, who's most-popular-work-to-date is 2009's Zombieland, so needless to say, I'm not holding my breathe for Penn's return to Oscar glory.
In summary, maybe Daniel Day-Lewis. The other four -- don't look like if they break the two lead actor barrier, it certainly doesn't look like it's happening with them this year.