March 12, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Best Actor

Ahoy, mateys! A productive future is certain for Johnny Depp, whom we’ll see this month in the thriller Secret Window and next fall as the man who dreamed up Peter Pan in J.M. Barrie’s Neverland. Now shooting The Libertine, he’s also scheduled to film Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Rum Diary, his second foray into the demented world of Hunter S. Thompson…. Even busier is Jude Law, who has this summer’s retro-futuristic Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator (November), in which he plays Errol Flynn; an untitled Alfie remake; David O. Russell’s existential comedy I [LOVE] Huckabees with fellow nominee Naomi Watts (fall); Mike Nichols’ relationship drama Closer (December); Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (December); Tulip Fever with Keira Knightley; and Dexterity, a comedy he’s also producing…. Sean Penn follows up his double dose of dark with the lead in next fall’s The Assassination of Richard Nixon (21 Grams costar Watts cameos) and Sydney Pollack’s United Nations thriller The Interpreter, opposite 2003 Best Actress winner Nicole Kidman…. As for Ben Kingsley, he’ll star in a chiller (Suspect Zero, spring), an adventure (Thunderbirds, August), a sci-fi fantasy (A Sound of Thunder, spring), a murder mystery (Mrs. Harris, now shooting), and an animated comedy (Valiant)…. With Wes Anderson’s quirky The Life Aquatic (December) finally wrapped, Bill Murray starts production on The Squid and the Whale (directed by Aquatic cowriter Noah Baumbach) this spring. And come June 25, that’ll be his voice as the lasagna-loving CGI feline in Garfield: The Movie.

Best Actress

Taking a cue from prolific pal Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts stays active with the indie adultery tale We Don’t Live Here Anymore (Aug. 16), I [LOVE] Huckabees, The Ring 2 (Nov. 10), Marc Forster’s Stay (fall), and King Kong (2005), directed by Peter Jackson…. Charlize Theron goes back to being beautiful in the World War II-era swoonfest Head in the Clouds, costarring boyfriend Stuart Townsend; vamps it up as Swedish actress Britt Ekland in HBO’s The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, with Geoffrey Rush (December); and scores a reported $10 million for Karyn Kusama’s sci-fi film Aeon Flux…. In addition to costarring with Johnny Depp in The Libertine, Samantha Morton woos fellow nominee Tim Robbins in Michael Winterbottom’s sci-fi flick Code 46 (Aug. 6) and appears in the adaptation of Ian McEwan’s 1998 novel Enduring Love. This summer she shoots the drama River Queen…. Having already filmed her role as Queen of Naboo in Star Wars: Episode III (2005), wunderkind Keisha Castle-Hughes plans to start high school in her native New Zealand…. Diane Keaton has yet to choose her next project.

Best Supporting Actor

Alec Baldwin has plenty to look forward to in 2004, including next fall’s mobster comedy The Last Shot; Scorsese’s The Aviator; Lymelife, a love triangle drama that he’ll star in and produce with brother William; the biopic Simply Halston; and a remake of 1968’s Burt Lancaster drama The Swimmer. On March 25, he’ll open on Broadway opposite Anne Heche in Twentieth Century…. Tim Robbins heads to Off Broadway this month with Embedded, a political satire that he wrote and directs. He also stars in Code 46…. Djimon Hounsou serves Keanu Reeves cocktails as a mysterious bar owner in the comic-book adaptation Constantine (Sept. 17). This spring, he returns as Jennifer Garner’s archenemy on ABC’s Alias…. Ken Watanabe hits Gotham City as Ra’s Al Ghul, nemesis to Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne, in the next Batman flick (2005)…. And 2001’s Best Supporting Actor, Benicio Del Toro, incarnates the Argentinean activist in Terrence Malick’s Che, shooting this year.

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