What The Hell Happened To ... Cuba Gooding Jr.?
Show him the money.
What's In Store for Cuba Gooding Jr.?
Gooding has packed his 2008 slate full with an assortment of independently-financed films. Two have been already released: The direct-to-video action thriller Hero Wanted, opposite Ray Liotta, and the limited release Harold, a Napoleon Dynamite-esque comedy about a teenager (Spencer Breslin) with early on-set male pattern baldness.
Next for the onetime Oscar winner is an action-comedy called Lies & Illusions, from creature feature and Sci Fi Original Movie veteran director Tibor Takacs (helmer of such films as Mega Snake, Mansquito, and Ice Spiders). Gooding will continue to dwell in the land of indies and direct-to-video releases throughout 2009 with Linewatch, from Walking Tall director Kevin Bray; The Way of War, which has no set release date; and the tentatively-named The Untitled Gehenna Project, in which Gooding co-stars with Ray Winstone, Ron Perlman, and Henry Rollins in a tale of soldiers descending into hell. Perhaps it's time to fear that Cuba Gooding Jr. might follow the footsteps of his What The Hell Happened To predecessor, Wesley Snipes (although a recent report announced that Gooding will return to television for the first time in years, playing Baltimore neurosurgeon Ben Carsons in TNT's made-for-TV film Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story).
That said, having weathered two decades of career ups and downs, we believe Cuba Gooding Jr. has it in him to arise once more. A proven dramatic dynamo, he's no stranger to the Academy; even his critical missteps (Radio, Men of Honor, Shadowboxer) were admirably bold choices that too few of his peers might dare to make. But having choices and making the right ones are what distinguish the good actors from the good actors-stuck-in-Tomatometer-hell. Can Cuba get career counseling soon enough to turn it all around?
To explore your favorite fallen star's path toward Tomatometer glory (or infamy), check out our Celebrity pages here. Visit Wesley Snipes and Shannon Elizabeth in our previous installments of What The Hell Happened To...