Next For Movie Awards’ Alba, Ferrell And Christensen? Serial Killers, Figure Skating

Stars look forward to upcoming projects that range from serious dramas to outrageously ridiculous comedies.

The all-star crowd has dispersed, Jessica Alba has returned to her day job, Steve-O has put his shirt back on and the janitors are almost done sweeping up all that confetti dumped by AFI.

Another MTV Movie Awards ceremony is behind us, and as stars like Steve Carell, Hayden Christensen and Isla Fisher put their shiny new Golden Popcorn trophies on their mantelpieces, fans may be wondering: what next?

Alba, this year’s Movie Awards hostess with the most-ess, boasts one of the strongest upcoming film slates. Future Best Kiss and Sexiest Performance nominations seem like a no-brainer as the 25-year-old slips back into leather chaps for “Sin City 2,” this time toughening up to reflect her character’s despondency over the death of her beloved Hartigan (Bruce Willis).

Around the same time, Alba will be hanging with the Silver Surfer for “Fantastic Four 2,” the superhero sequel that plans to introduce the Marvel Comics character as an ambiguous new friend of Sue Storm’s family (see “Alba Says ‘Fantastic Four 2′ Will Be ‘Exciting, Hot, New, Fresh’ “). Continuing with a schedule that would exhaust Ryan Seacrest, the actress also has the psychological thriller “Awake” due in theaters near the end of this year, and the midlife-crisis comedy “Bill” will be shooting around the same time.

Similarly wide “Awake” is newly crowned Best Villain Hayden Christensen, who hopes audiences enjoy his stiff performance as the un-anesthetized operating-room patient in the movie, which also stars Terrence Howard. Christensen will then go from motionless to mumbling, appearing as a thinly veiled Bob Dylan-type character in “Factory Girl,” due later this year and set among the Andy Warhol-centered New York scene of the mid-’60s. Looking further down the line, the former Anakin will skywalk through the period film “Angels and Virgins,” the treasure-hunting thriller “Crash Bandits” and the cop-held-hostage hard-boiler “Poker Nights.”

Dame Judi Dench will explode into theaters in the next 12 months with … Oops! After Will Ferrell’s Movie Awards joke, we’ve still got the British thespian on the mind, but let’s talk about our favorite “Anchorman” instead. In case his plugging was too subtle, you should know that Ferrell and his Awards date John C. Reilly have the NASCAR comedy “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” in theaters on August 4. Ferrell is currently filming the figure-skating comedy “Blades of Glory” alongside Jon Heder (due out next March), which also co-stars “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” nominee for Breakthrough Performance and Best On-Screen Team, Romany Malco.

Malco’s “Virgin” co-star, Carell, can thank Kelly Clarkson for his own lengthy list of upcoming gigs. Between trips to “The Office,” the red-hot star has been squeezing in “Evan Almighty,” a sequel to the Jim Carrey classic “Bruce Almighty,” that has Carell’s character building an enormous ark to please God (Morgan Freeman). “Evan” is due in theaters next June, and next month festival fave “Little Miss Sunshine” will get its release. He’ll also be shooting comedies ranging from “Dan in Real Life” (Carell falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend) to “Juvenile” (he’s sent to an adolescent prison for a crime he committed years earlier) to “Get Smart” (based on the classic TV show).

Jake Gyllenhaal told the world that he was dreaming about the Best Kiss trophy when he locked lips with Heath Ledger, but his back-to-back kiss awards chances seem slim considering his next role in “Zodiac,” a serial-killer thriller. Directed by the acclaimed David Fincher (“Fight Club”), Gyllenhaal has marveled over the intensely recreated murder scenes that dropped himself and co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. into the horrors of the mid-’70s murder spree. The flick is expected in theaters late 2006 or early 2007.

The “Wedding Crashers” duo will be pushing their way into plenty of films over the next year, with Vince Vaughn already riding high at the box office with “The Break-Up” and Owen Wilson starring as a high-maintenance houseguest in July 14’s “You, Me and Dupree.” Vaughn will continue to dodge “Old School 2″ scripts while finishing the filming of the Sean Penn drama “Into the Wild,” followed by a 180-turn into “Joe Claus,” a holiday comedy about Santa’s ne’er-do-well older brother. Audiences can currently hear Wilson’s voice as hot-rod Lightning McQueen in “Cars,” and will see the rest of him when he teams with Harold Ramis (“Groundhog Day”) on a currently untitled comedy about a slacker caveman. Wilson will also have a tiny cameo as a tiny cowboy in this December’s Ben Stiller comedy “Night at the Museum.”

Vaughn and Wilson won’t have the luxury of having their “Crashers” co-star and Breakthrough Performance winner Isla Fisher in their upcoming projects, however, as the chameleon-esque beauty will bring her considerable charms to several different and impressively varied projects. First up is “The Pleasure of Your Company,” a dark comedy directed by cult comic Michael Ian Black, which has a lovelorn Jason Biggs spontaneously proposing marriage to a stranger (Fisher).

After that film hits theaters later this year, Fisher will resurface in “The Lookout,” a crime thriller co-starring the up-and-coming Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“Brick”). Her show-stealing fiance, the equally transformative Sacha Baron Cohen, will bring the controversial comedy stylings of “Borat” to theaters in November. We can only hope that Jessica Simpson and her Daisy Dukes make it to the premiere.

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