Next Gen talent: Actors, writers and directors on the cusp

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ACTORS

Cam Gigandet, 26
Rising: TV stints on the WB's "Jack & Bobby" and "The O.C." have been rewarded with a juicy role as the bloodthirsty villain in Summit's anticipated vampire romance "Twilight."
Next: Five projects, including David S. Goyer's "The Unborn" and "Kid Cannabis," based on a Rolling Stone article.

Michael Angarano, 20
Rising: Following a recurring role as Sean Hayes' son on "Will & Grace," as well as stints on Fox's "24" and in 2000's "Almost Famous," Angarano spread his wings this year in David Gordon Green's "Snow Angels" and opposite Jet Li and Jackie Chan in "The Forbidden Kingdom."
Next: Angarano heads to writers camp as an aspiring screenwriter in Jared Hess' superhero comedy "Gentlemen Broncos," now in postproduction.

Thomas Dekker, 20
Rising: After a prolific career as a child actor, Dekker has graduated to saving the world from the machines as John Connor on Fox's "The Sarah Connor Chronicles."
Next: He landed the lead in "Fame," MGM's revamp of the original high school musical. He also co-stars with Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin in Nick Cassavetes' "My Sister's Keeper," and wrote and directed the showbiz drama "Whore."

Toby Kebbell, 26
Rising: After taking home a British Independent Film Award for his role as Joy Division's manager in 2007's "Control," Kebbell starved himself for his turn as a lead singer on the lam in Guy Ritchie's "RocknRolla."
Next: He will appear opposite Michelle Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates in Stephen Frears' period piece "Cheri," from Miramax.

Anton Yelchin, 19
Rising: Breakout roles as a doomed teen in 2006's "Alpha Dog" and as a charismatic high schooler in MGM's "Charlie Bartlett."
Next: Yelchin boards the U.S.S. Enterprise next summer in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" reboot and joins McG's "Terminator: Salvation."

ACTRESSES

Kat Dennings, 22
Rising: She followed her role as Catherine Keener's teen daughter in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" with steady TV and film work, earning co-billing with Michael Cera in this fall's "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist."
Next: Dennings joins Olivia Thirlby in the comedy "The Dream of the Romans" and chases a wish-granting rock in Robert Rodriguez's "Shorts," alongside William H. Macy and James Spader.

Zoe Saldana, 30
Rising: TV roles and a bit part as a pirate wench in 2003's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" led to this year's ensemble thriller "Vantage Point."
Next: A major role in James Cameron's "Avatar" and a turn as Uhura in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek," two of next year's most anticipated blockbusters.

Zoe Kazan, 25
Rising: The granddaughter of Elia Kazan and daughter of writer-director Robin Swicord and writer Nicholas Kazan cut her teeth on Broadway before shining in last year's "In the
Valley of Elah."
Next: She's already generating heat for her role in awards contender "Revolutionary Road," from DreamWorks/Paramount Vantage, and next year she's in Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock," Nia Vardalos' "I Hate Valentine's Day" and "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee," opposite Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder.

Mia Wasikowska, 18
Rising: This Aussie gained notice as a suicidal teen in HBO's "In Treatment."
Next: She landed the lead role in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," and next month stands alongside Liev Schreiber and Daniel Craig in Paramount Vantage's "Defiance."

Odette Yustman, 23
Rising: Long before Yustman nabbed the female lead in this year's "Cloverfield," she was one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's students in 1990's "Kindergarten Cop."
Next: She stars alongside Gary Oldman and Cam Gigandet in David S. Goyer's "The Unborn."

WRITERS

Travis Beacham, 26
Rising: Beacham's dark fantasy script "Killing on Carnival Row" landed at New Line, with Hugh Jackman now attached to star. He also wrote the draft script for the upcoming big-budget remake of "Clash of the Titans" for Warner Bros., with Louis Leterrier directing.
Next: He's writing "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" for Ridley Scott at Fox and a top-secret project for Paramount based on an idea from J.J. Abrams.

Brad Inglesby, 28
Rising: In March, the Pennsylvania native sold his revenge thriller spec "The Low Dweller" to Relativity for $650,000, with Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio attached.
Next: He's since taken on assignments to write the Paramount Vantage crime drama "Buried," which Todd Field is attached to direct, and the Warner Bros. graphic novel adaptation "Sleeper," which Sam Raimi is producing and Tom Cruise is considering.

Lorene Scafaria, 30
Rising: First discovered when Ben Stiller and David Dobkin flirted with making her original script "The Mighty Flynn," she then adapted the novel "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist."
Next: She's developing "Sweet Relief," a drama about murdered relief worker Marla Ruzicka, for Paramount; "Man and Wife" at Universal; and "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," a spec she plans to direct for Mandate Pictures.

Alex Tse, 32
Rising: Tse's "Sucker Free City" script, directed by Spike Lee and screened at Toronto in 2004, was a tight depiction of gang life in San Francisco. He then co-wrote the comic book adaptation "Watchmen" for Warner Bros., due in March.
Next: Drafts of the mob thriller "Frankie Machine" for Paramount and Michael Mann, and adaptations of Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man" and the Japanese anime feature "Ninja Scroll" for Warner Bros.

Brian K. Vaughan, 32
Rising: The writer-producer of ABC's "Lost" sold "Ex Machina" and "Y: The Last Man," graphic novels he co-created and wrote, to New Line for big-screen treatments.
Next: An Eisner Award-winning writer, he's also adapting his own "Runaways," another graphic novel he co-created, for Marvel Studios. And in June, he sold his fantasy-comedy spec "Roundtable" to DreamWorks for $650,000 against $1 million.

DIRECTORS

Seth Gordon, 32
Rising: Gordon was discovered when Picturehouse picked up his 2007 Slamdance documentary "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters."
Next: "Kong" led to his first studio feature, "Four Christmases," the Vince Vaughn-Reese Witherspoon comedy. He's also attached to direct Allan Loeb's "The Only Living Boy in New York."

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 35
Rising: The German scored a best foreign-language film Oscar -- and incited a frenzy at the talent agencies to sign him -- with his 2006 film "The Lives of Others."
Next: Now repped by CAA, he's writing a new untitled script with an eye toward directing it himself.

Joseph Kosinski, 34
Rising: The former architect's specs caught the attention of director David Fincher, who convinced Kosinski to move to L.A. and helm award-winning commercials for Nike, Apple and Nintendo.
Next: His first feature is Disney's ambitious "Tron" remake, due in 2010. The test reel for the movie was a huge hit at July's Comic-Con. Kosinski also is attached to helm the remake of "Logan's Run."

Jonathan Levine, 32
Rising: The AFI grad's short "Shards" led to a gig directing 2006's "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane," He followed it with this year's "The Wackness," an audience award winner at Sundance and at the L.A. Film Festival.
Next: Levine is adapting the David Stone spy novel "Echelon Vendetta" for Sony and writing and directing a pilot for FX. He is also writing and directing "Positive."

Marc Webb, 34
Rising: Webb has helmed stylish videos for such artists as Snow Patrol and Hilary Duff, which led to his first feature, "500 Days of Summer," a Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Zooey Deschanel romantic comedy for Fox Searchlight.
Next: Searchlight is planning a big push for "500 Days" next year based on high test scores, and is in negotiation with Webb to write and direct "Age of Rage," a "Children of Men" meets "Lord of the Flies" project based on Webb's original treatment.
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