The Comeback: Older Actors Are Coming Back For More

29 01 2010

Everyone loves to reminisce. But the older you get, the more reminiscing you seem to do: “Oh, high school was so fun.” “Oh, I loved my first car.” “Oh, I miss the days when I was able to eat solid foods.” While good memories are well and good, as just about every time-traveling movie proves, going back in time is never a good idea.

Hollywood actors, however, seem to have missed the memo. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for older actors staying in the biz…some of the best actors today are probably eating off the senior citizens’ menu at Denny’s. Meryl Streep is a star in every sense of the word; Morgan Freeman locks down performance after performance – and those are just the first two that come to mind. What I’m really referring to, are those actors and actresses who feel the need to “relive the glory days.”

With sequels, remakes and reboots making up the bulk of Hollywood produce nowadays, actors from previous installments and old franchises are coming back.  What better way to get a fat paycheck and a shot at a comeback than to star in another movie that already made you famous?

Here are the worst comeback offenders of late:

  • Harrison Ford: While he’s still doing a few other projects (Extraordinary Measures, Crossing Over), it’s Ford’s return to the Indiana Jones franchise that makes him a comeback offender. While I saw (and liked) Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and while I will see (and probably like) Indiana Jones 5, I can still recognize the fact that Ford is way too old for this. A clear case of paycheck-separation anxiety.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker: With Sex and the City 2 wrapping up and announcements that Sex and the City 3 will begin shooting right away, Sarah definitely fits the comeback offender profile. HBO’s Sex and the City made her big. She did a slew of movies that didn’t make her bigger. So, she went back to what made her big (insert Mr. Big joke here). And then she went back for round two. And now round three. Comeback offender in the third degree.
  • Sylvester Stallone: With Rocky Balboa (aka Rocky VI), Rambo (aka Rambo IV) and Rambo V: The Savage Hunt in the works, Stallone just might be the king of comeback offenders. With not much but voice work and Spy Kids 3 to his recent credit, you can hardly blame the guy, but still…really? Hopefully the action-packed, star-studded The Expendables will live up to the hype.

But what about some comebacks we can get behind?

  • Mel Gibson: After proving is mettle as director (The Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto), Mel Gibson is once again stepping in front of the camera. With Edge of Darkness opening in theatres today, the Jodie Foster directed comedy, The Beaver, in post-production and talk of his How I Spent My Summer Vacation and Cold Warrior in the works, Mel looks to be back and busy! And with favorable reviews rolling in for Edge of Darkness, it looks like Mel’s comeback will be a success. It helps, too, that he will not be reprising his role in the new Mad Max 4. Smart move, Mel.
  • James Cameron: While not an actor, Cameron’s comeback has been explosivley anticipated and just as equally successful. Avatar topped his last film (Titanic) at the box office and is likely to win big at the Oscars this year. With two Avatar sequels in the works and his pet project, Battle Angel, in pre-production, I don’t think audienes will have to wait another 10 years to see the next James Cameron film.

The goal for any artist should be to break-out and try something new. Going back to your comfort zone is a cop-out. But it certainly sells tickets, delivers on the moolah…and yes, can even make fans happy.

Who else do you think is a comeback offender? Who deserves another shot? Any comebacks you’re looking forward to? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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