Essays · Movies

What’s Next For Adam Driver, and What We’d Like to See

Following the release of Blackkklansman, we pick the best next roles for Adam Driver.
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By  · Published on August 14th, 2018

Adam Driver has established himself as one of the best young actors working today. An incredibly versatile actor, film after film sees him consistently deliver different, captivating performances. Whether he’s playing an ambitious, hipster documentarian in While We’re Young (2014), a hormonal maniac hell-bent on conquering the galaxy in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), or a mild-mannered, poetic tram operator in Paterson (2016), Driver has always exhibited an extraordinary commitment to his characters, delivering performances to marvel at.

Easily put, he’s just a great actor with refreshing versatility. He’s rarely typecast as a certain character-type, nor does he always act in similar-style niche movies. We never know what kind of performance we’ll get from him –– and that’s exciting. Sometimes he can be loud and dangerous like he is in Girls (2012), and other times he can be emotional and determined like he is in Silence (2016). No matter what version of Driver we get, it’s always hard to look away while he’s on screen.

His latest film, BlacKkKlansman, has drawn critical success as director Spike Lee masterfully blends rage and humor with cultural importance and utter timelessness, while his entire cast, including Driver, deliver exceptional performances. Go see it if you haven’t yet, and then join us in looking forward at what is and could be next for one of our favorite young actors.

Announced Projects

Untitled Noah Baumbach Film (2019)

We don’t know much about Baumbach’s new film. Per IMDB, the premise “follows an unfolding divorce that spans from New York City to Los Angeles.” More than that is a mystery for now, but we do know that Baumbach has been killing it lately. His last few films have featured real, relatable stories examining the human condition from perspectives of loneliness, ambition, and family. With this stacked cast featuring Driver, Scarlett Johansson, and Laura Dern, we can be sure that Baumbach will find an easy way to make us cry again. He’s one of the best working directors today, and we’re excited to see a second collaboration between these two.

The Torture Report (2019)

Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne UltimatumContagion) directs this drama about the government’s use of torture following the 9/11 attacks. There’s no further information about this project, but we can expect an intense look at torture in the context of war and terrorism paired with a dark, dramatic turn from Driver.

The Dead Don’t Die (2019)

Driver and Bill Murray headline Jim Jarmusch’s new zombie comedy film –– and we couldn’t be more excited. One of Driver’s best performances came under Jarmusch’s direction in Paterson, so we’re excited to see him thrive again in a new zombie comedy alongside a stellar ensemble cast. Furthermore, Jarmusch is a master director. He’s original, his films are thoughtful, and after Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) we can’t wait to see what he does with another kind of undead.

Star Wars: Episode IX (2019)

It’s Star Wars. Of course, we’re excited to see where this new trilogy ends. In particular, we’re excited to see what happens next with Kylo Ren. Kylo is a fantastic character, in part because Driver brings emotion and depth to what could be a simple villain. How will the character evolve? How much further into darkness will he plunge? Will he be redeemed? Will he be more man than teenager? Driver’s one of many reasons we’re looking forward to revisiting this galaxy far, far away.

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Dream Scenarios

Auteur TV Drama

How exciting would it be for Driver to headline his own limited series? Think True DetectiveFargo, and other auteur-helmed television shows which often give big actors the chance to showcase their skills and talents. Today, television allows filmmakers to tell long, engaging, character-driven stories and we’ve seen actors like Matthew McConaughey, Cillian Murphy, and Amy Adams take advantage of this revived medium. Televisions’ immersive nature makes it easy for us to engage with profound, thoughtful story arcs so it would be great to see what kind of emotional rollercoaster Driver could take us on over the course of ten-or-so episodes.

Lead a Drama

Driver has made his career as an incredible supporting or secondary actor. He always steals the screen from the main character or protagonist, but I think there’s room for him to star as a lead actor. While he’s lead films before, he’s a household name now and I would love to see him in more roles similar to Paterson. Maybe even roles that are Oscar worthy? Similar to how Casey Affleck or Tom Hardy can transition between character actor and leading man, it would be great to see Driver in more leading roles. We’re definitely ready for it, and he’s capable of giving it.

Expand His Resume

Driver has worked with some of the best directors in Hollywood. To name a few, he’s worked with Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Steven Soderbergh, Steven Spielberg, and Clint Eastwood. Let’s keep on expanding that. How about working with directors like Christopher Nolan, Spike Jonze, or Quentin Tarantino? He’s certainly shown that he can take direction from filmmakers with huge pedigrees, so I’d love to see the types of performances that these directors could draw from Driver. The best directors can elicit the best performances from their actors, and how great would it be to see how much better Driver can become?

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Lover of coffee, the emdash, and General Hux. Journalism student at Biola University in Los Angeles.