class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-46535″ title=”ryan reynolds” src=”” alt=”” width=”220″ height=”150″ />In the second of a series of three articles, I will be showcasing the stars that I believe are set to become the next icons of Hollywood – The future Scorsese, Will Smith and so on.

We have already covered my choice of director in the previous article,  and we now move on to the faces in front of the camera. More specifically, we move on to the face that every male actor is clamouring to be – the next generation of leading man.

The ideal candidate should be physically impressive; the kind of impossibly handsome man sporting the squarest of square jaws, along with a great sense of humour and enough acting credibility to make him more than a pretty boy. Most importantly, he needs charisma. Women need to want him, and men need to want to go to the pub with him. Step forward then… Justin Bieber.

I’m joking of course, it’s Ryan Reynolds.

Reynolds is primarily known for his comedy work; nearly a decade on, people still refer to him as Van Wilder. His ever-present brand of sardonic wit in these films may come across as grating, and even annoying at times, but in recent years he has been able to tone down and refine his comedy. Consequently, he has been finding real success in romantic comedies like Definitely Maybe and The Proposal.

This is no accident; a combination of his pretty-boy exterior and natural comic timing make him the ideal romantic lead. Otherwise, his turns in action films have been brief, but impressive. He was one of the few redeeming features of Blade: Trinity, Smokin’ Aces and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, ensuring standout performances that last even while the films themselves fade into obscurity.

However, it is the next few years will see him go nova in a slew of comic book films. Next year, he will be seen playing Green Lantern in a mega-budget blockbuster that should catapult him into franchise territory, invigorating his career in the same vein as Robert Downey Jr, post- Iron Man. Reynolds’ love of the comic book film does not just stop at a single super-hero; as Deadpool in the awful Wolverine film, Reynolds’ sparse moments onscreen were filled with an innovative sense of humour and charm that the rest of the film lacked.

He has confirmed his involvement in a spin-off, reprising his role as the wisecracking, schizophrenic super-assassin. If it can stick to a hard 18/R rating, this could well become a breakout role for him akin to Brad Pitt in Fight Club. He is also set to shoot R.I.P.D in the autumn, an obscure graphic novel adaptation about a duo of deceased policemen patrolling the underworld.

Reynolds has proven his worth as both a romantic lead and an action star. Even The Amityville Horror remake has shown that he can do deadpan, if required. His upcoming super-hero flicks are set to thrust him into the public eye, and if his charisma is able to carry multiple franchises he will have truly fulfilled his potential, embracing his role as the next leading man of Hollywood.

Next up, we’ll look at Hollywood’s Hottest Leading Lady.