Find out what Tom Hanks, Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench have in store for the next year

By Daniel Fierman
April 02, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

The parties are over, the tuxes are stored, and everyone has finally recovered from those lingering ball-peen-hammer hangovers. Now it’s time to get back to work. Here’s what 1998’s best have on tap for 1999 and beyond:

Best Actor:
The busiest nominee is unquestionably Tom Hanks, who has Stephen King’s The Green Mile due out in December and is now shooting Robert Zemeckis’ stranded-on-an-island drama, Cast Away. He’s also executive-producing Band of Brothers — a miniseries about World War II heroics — with Steven Spielberg for HBO and should soon ink to star in Martin Scorsese’s long-rumored Dean Martin biopic, Dino. Edward Norton can be seen alongside Brad Pitt in David Fincher’s Fight Club this summer and will go behind the camera for the first time later this year for Keeping the Faith, about a priest (Norton) and a rabbi (Ben Stiller) who fall for the same woman (Jenna Elfman). Both Ian McKellen and Roberto Benigni are taking time off, while Nick Nolte has two prestigious adaptations on tap: First he’ll star as a cross-dressing car salesman opposite Bruce Willis in the big-screen version of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions; then he’ll appear with Jeff Bridges in Sam Shepard’s horse-racing drama Simpatico.

Best Actress:
Fernanda Montenegro will return to her native Brazil to do theater and plan a retrospective film series of her work. Gwyneth Paltrow stars opposite Matt Damon in Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley and just finished Duets, a romantic comedy directed by her father, Bruce Paltrow (Felicity’s Scott Speedman took the part originally slated for her ex Brad Pitt). Besides appearing in Ripley with Paltrow, Cate Blanchett has the air-traffic-controller black comedy Pushing Tin with John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton coming in April, and Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband with Minnie Driver and Rupert Everett in July. At the moment, Blanchett’s rehearsing for the April opening of Plenty on the London stage. Meryl Streep is reading scripts and taking time off, but will appear this summer in Fifty Violins, Wes Craven’s story of an inner-city violin teacher. Emily Watson has two high-profile projects on tap this fall: Tim Robbins’ 1930s ensemble piece Cradle Will Rock and the film adaptation of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes.

Best Supporting Actor:
Geoffrey Rush will appear as the comic villain in the loser-superhero flick Mystery Men this August and will costar in the Joel Silver screamer The House on Haunted Hill. Ed Harris recently completed The Third Miracle, a religious drama with Anne Heche, and is preparing to direct and star in a Jackson Pollock biopic. Swiping a page from the Burt Reynolds Oscar-to-made-for-TV playbook, James Coburn will play the titular role in the upcoming Hallmark Hall of Fame suspense drama Atticus, to air on CBS. In addition to Pushing Tin, Billy Bob Thornton just completed writing and directing Daddy and Them, with Laura Dern. He’s now directing the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses with Matt Damon. Finally, Robert Duvall goes from courtrooms to coliseums as the manager of a Scottish soccer team in The Cup.