Heading into the film community's hectic and prestigious awards season, it's that time of year when careers are made, reputations are enhanced, and producers search far and wide for the latest crop of breakout actors and filmmakers. Just last year, relative unknowns like Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) watched their industry stocks rise significantly, so much that the former is currently shooting a movie with Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) and the latter has spent 2012 working with highly admired directors Steven Soderbergh and Terrence Malick.
Who will emerge from this year's awards race to become the next big things? It's too early to tell, so, naturally, it's as good a time as any to reflect upon the polar opposite of breaking through: totally sinking into the depths of Hollywood's unforgiving purgatory. With as much as luck and chance as it takes to select great, high watermark projects, folks working in the always fickle movie game can lose it all with by merely joining a production that's, unbeknownst to them, predestined to crash and burn.
For several uncomfortable reminders about the darkest side of being a professional actor or moviemaker, have a look at 25 Movies That Killed Careers.
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Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)