Trends. They're a funny thing in Hollywood. The moment something gets hot, everyone and their mother becomes determined to use its flame.
It's like Hanukkah. You light a candle, and that candle is so unbelievably awesome, you feel compelled to light the other candles with the exact same candle.
See, when a relatively unknown actor blows up after a hit movie, that actor is instantly dubbed the "next big thing". And subsequently, said actor takes on the clear and distinct responsibility of having to appear in EVERY FUCKING MOVIE they possibly can. It happens all the time.
Back in 2004, it was Jude Law. The guy made a few strong appearances in films like 2002's Road to Perdition and 2003's Cold Mountain. And the next thing you know, he's in not one, not two, not three, not four, not even five, but SIX friggin' movies in 2004. Needless to say, that kind of overexposure can sour an audience's desire to see an actor. Though, fortunately for Law, his career is still trucking along.
But he's old news. It's 2009. And there's a new "next big thing". And his name...is Gerard Butler.
In 2007, nobody knew who the heck Gerard Butler was. Sure, he had a few prominent roles in mainstream flicks like The Phantom of the Opera and Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, but the guy wasn't exactly a household name. But it all changed for G.B. in March of '07, when the guy movie event of the decade slow-motion stabbed its way into the hearts of millions of film fans worldwide. Zach Snyder's 300 became a global phenomenon, raking in over $450 million at the box office. Butler, as the film's primary asskicker King Leonidas, became the movie's poster boy. His 12-pack abs and Billy Mays-quality facial hair made him one of the single most recognizable film characters in recent memory.
With that kind of exposure and success, it was only natural that Butler's stock would rise. And indeed, it has.
After appearing in both Nim's Island and Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla in 2008, Butler has parlayed his 300 success into no less than three starring vehicles over the course of a few short months in 2009. It started with July's The Ugly Truth with Katherine Heigl, which has netted a cool $100 million at the box office on a $38 million budget. The Butler tour continued in September with the release of Gamer, and will roll on in October with the release of Law Abiding Citizen, a flick where he co-stars with Jamie Foxx. Butler will also host the October 17th episode of Saturday Night Live.
For those counting at home, that's three movies in four months. Needless to say, Gerard Butler is having a pretty fucking awesome year.
So the natural question is: what's next? Here's a guy who Hollywood clearly can't get enough of right now. He's already got two big films on the docket for 2010. Butler's name is frequently thrown around for juicy tent pole roles. And now he's even got his own tabloid "Are they/Aren't they" relationship with paparazzi favorite Jennifer Aniston.
The Persians may not like it. But suffice to say, Gerard Butler is officially the next big thing.