Their Next Big Things | EW.com

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Their Next Big Things

With the golden night behind them, here's what's up next for this year's roster of Oscar nominees

So you’ve braved the red carpet, partied till dawn, and rested your dresses and tuxes in the closet.

Now get back to work.

Of course, this year’s Oscar nominees managed to squeeze a few meetings with producers in between their wardrobe fittings. Here’s how all the acting and directing competitors will try to earn invitations to next year’s awards.

BEST ACTOR Tom Cruise will return to England to wrap Stanley Kubrick’s adult drama Eyes Wide Shut with Nicole Kidman and Harvey Keitel; a Mission: Impossible sequel could be next.

Already in the can for Ralph Fiennes is Oscar & Lucinda (due in November), in which he plays a gambling clergyman. He’ll also don Patrick Macnee’s derby in The Avengers and provide the voice of Ramses in DreamWorks’ upcoming cartoon The Prince of Egypt.

Woody Harrelson will play a journalist in Miramax’s Welcome to Sarajevo (due this fall) and a soldier who becomes a national hero in Barry Levinson’s satire Wag the Dog, with Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. Next up: the thriller Palmetto, with Elisabeth Shue.

After making a splash with Shine, Geoffrey Rush will be seen in May as Judy Davis’ husband in the political comedy Children of the Revolution and will play Inspector Javert to Liam Neeson’s Jean Valjean in the latest film version of Les Misérables, also with Claire Danes and Uma Thurman.

Suddenly sought-after Billy Bob Thornton has wrapped the gambling drama The Winner (June 6), the pot-plantation comedy Homegrown, and Oliver Stone’s thriller U-Turn. He’ll next play a James Carville-esque political adviser in Mike Nichols’ Primary Colors and will offer a quick cameo in the movie-biz satire An Alan Smithee Film.

BEST ACTRESS Brenda Blethyn will follow Secrets & Lies’ Cynthia with another mum in the eccentric family comedy Music From Another Room (due this fall), with Martha Plimpton, and will shortly begin filming the sentimental buddy movie Girls’ Night with Julie Walters.

The First Wives Club will call another meeting, as Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler reteam for Avon Ladies of the Amazon. Keaton will also play a New Yorker who discovers she has a 9-year-old nephew in Northern Lights, a Disney Channel movie airing in August.

Frances McDormand is a German Jewish émigré (accent included) in a Sumatran war camp in Paradise Road (April 11), with Glenn Close and Julianna Margulies. She has also signed on to the indie flicks Johnny Skidmarks and The Trade, playing a shady character who lends a helping hand to a robbery victim (possibly Nicole Kidman).

Miramax has acquired the screen version of Alan Ayckbourn’s The Revengers’ Comedies, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, who’ll also play opposite Robert Redford in The Horse Whisperer.

Neophyte Emily Watson has wrapped an adaptation of Julian Barnes’ 1980 novel, Metroland, and will flirt with Daniel Day-Lewis as an IRA prisoner’s wife in The Boxer.

SUPPORTING ACTOR Jerry Maguire breakout Cuba Gooding Jr. will continue his money-hungry ways as an art dealer in James L. Brooks’ Christmas release Old Friends, with Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, and Greg Kinnear.