Most Wanted Matrix

Hollywood's decision-makers and power players reveal their most desired talent.

When it comes to building a film around a star, at this very moment the majors continue to want the same names who have dominated wish lists for more than a decade. (Although Tom Cruise seems to be a question mark in the wake of his very public split with Katie Holmes and the underperformance of Rock of Ages, and Johnny Depp only seems to resonate when he's wearing makeup.) Still, Hollywood's new A-list is making inroads: Channing Tatum has landed a prime spot in the batting order, and actresses seem to have a better shot at upward mobility, with Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone unseating the likes of Sandra Bullock and Cameron Diaz. The following index -- culled from interviews with studio executives, producers and casting agents -- reflects who is dominating the conversation right now. To be clear: Everyone here is in demand … it's just a matter of how much.


Channing Tatum: His The Vow-21 Jump Street- Magic Mike trifecta has put Tatum on the list twice (joining Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Amy Adams in the Multiples Club). But Will Smith — despite the fact that his last nonfranchise hit was 2008's Hancock — still rules.

Anne Hathaway: Until this summer, things had been a little dicey for Hathaway: Neither Love and Other Drugs nor One Day stuck with audiences. But her saucy Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, and the Les Miserables trailer, reminded people what she's capable of.

Brad Pitt: Moneyball seems to have put Pitt in mind for more than just the leader of the pack: He also is perceived as someone who can play Yoda to an upstart, much in the way his Oakland A’s GM schooled Jonah Hill’s newbie on the art of the game.

Christian Bale: While seeing Bale's name in the villain category might look odd, it's worth remembering that he broke out in American Psycho. Actors such as Bale, Fassbender and Gordon- Levitt, pop up on studio wish lists for villains.

Kate Beckinsale: It seems like only yesterday that Beckinsale was staking vampires while wearing a painted-on catsuit. But her role as Colin Farrell's wife in Total Recall — along with the international popularity of her Underworld series — has made her marriage material.

Patrick Stewart: Mysterious. Perhaps the recent Blu-ray editions of Star Trek: The Next Generation (and mini- theatrical release) are reminding people of his avuncular qualities. Besides, who doesn't like a mentor with a lush British accent?