Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Craig, George Clooney: Hunks Who Got Their Start in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films (PHOTOS)

Of all the harsh realities made clear by the gender gap, perhaps the truest is that – as of this Friday – girlfriends everywhere will be dragged reluctantly to see The Hobbit. This time, however, Peter Jackson’s journey through Middle Earth has been stripped of its eye-candy, swapping Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen for a handful of dwarves, Dr. Watson and a geezer. While the movie will no doubt be epic, the real scenery will undoubtedly be just that: the actual scenery.

All of which made us consider just how many dramatic, respected and handsome leading men – prime examples of non-nerd masculinity – actually made some of their biggest breakthroughs in sci-fi, fantasy and all-around geek adventures. Read on to find out…

Click here to launch the gallery of gorgeous leading men who made their bones in genre movies.

Many of the actors on Celebuzz’ list certainly had credits prior to their turns in fantasy films – Mortensen worked steadily as a supporting player for more than a decade before striking paydirt with the Lord of the Rings series, for example.

And although many of them have gone on to even greater glories, they first became popular in the public consciousness because of these projects. On the other hand, some of them may never surpass the success they enjoyed with these films and film series. But as cinephiles and avid filmgoers, we’re only too happy to celebrate – and maybe in a few cases, reintroduce – the sci-fi-, horror and fantasy films that helped the world fall in love with them.

Which of these hunks is your favorite — or which appeared in your favorite fantasy film? Keep the discussion going in the comments section after watching the theatrical trailer for The Hobbit below!

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Cate Blanchett Musing Role as ‘Cinderella’s’ Wicked Stepmother; Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen Join ‘X-Men’ Sequel

Cate Blanchett is in talks to join Disney’s live-action Cinderella movie. The Oscar-winning actress is circling the role of the Evil Stepmother in the film, to be directed by Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go). The titular role has yet to be cast. [TheWrap]

Director Bryan Singer tweeted that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen will reprise their roles as Professor Xavier and Magneto, respectively, in X-Men: Days of Future Past. While no one knows exactly how these characters will be utilized in the sequel to the X-Men prequel, it’s safe to assume that they will share screen time with their First Class counterparts, played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. [Twitter]

First, it was reported that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were signed to write and produce Episodes VIII and IX in the new Star Wars trilogy. Now, it looks like the scribes will pen Star Wars spin-offs instead. According to THR, who originally reported the writers’ involvement in the new trilogy, “[the] scripts could turn into official ‘Episodes’ in the main Skywalker storyline, or they could form the basis for spinoffs focusing on side characters.” This story seems to confirm that the new trilogy will center on the Skywalkers. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Speaking of Star Wars, Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow was rumored to be in contention for directing one of the new films. Now, the director and his Safety writer Derek Connolly have signed on to rewrite the remake of Disney’s Flight of the Navigator. The 1986 original centers on a boy goes missing who returns to his family 8 years later. The catch? He hasn’t aged a day. Trevorrow may also direct the remake. [Variety]

Joe Carnahan is trading in the wolves from The Grey for vampires. The writer-director is in talks to helm and rewrite the script for Undying Love, based on the popular graphic novel. Warner Bros. will release the film, which revolves around a former soldier who falls in love with a girl who happens to be a vampire. In order to be with her, the soldier must battle the man who sired her: A Hong Kong crime lord protected by hired killers. So it’s a comedy, clearly. [Deadline]

Lots of news to discuss here, movie fans. That’s your cue to drop some comments below. Also, watch the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey below.

Celebuzz Single Player No Autoplay (CORE)
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Cate Blanchett Musing Role as ‘Cinderella’s’ Wicked Stepmother; Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen Join ‘X-Men’ Sequel

Cate Blanchett is in talks to join Disney’s live-action Cinderella movie. The Oscar-winning actress is circling the role of the Evil Stepmother in the film, to be directed by Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go). The titular role has yet to be cast. [TheWrap]

Director Bryan Singer tweeted that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen will reprise their roles as Professor Xavier and Magneto, respectively, in X-Men: Days of Future Past. While no one knows exactly how these characters will be utilized in the sequel to the X-Men prequel, it’s safe to assume that they will share screen time with their First Class counterparts, played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. [Twitter]

First, it was reported that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were signed to write and produce Episodes VIII and IX in the new Star Wars trilogy. Now, it looks like the scribes will pen Star Wars spin-offs instead. According to THR, who originally reported the writers’ involvement in the new trilogy, “[the] scripts could turn into official ‘Episodes’ in the main Skywalker storyline, or they could form the basis for spinoffs focusing on side characters.” This story seems to confirm that the new trilogy will center on the Skywalkers. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Speaking of Star Wars, Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow was rumored to be in contention for directing one of the new films. Now, the director and his Safety writer Derek Connolly have signed on to rewrite the remake of Disney’s Flight of the Navigator. The 1986 original centers on a boy goes missing who returns to his family 8 years later. The catch? He hasn’t aged a day. Trevorrow may also direct the remake. [Variety]

Joe Carnahan is trading in the wolves from The Grey for vampires. The writer-director is in talks to helm and rewrite the script for Undying Love, based on the popular graphic novel. Warner Bros. will release the film, which revolves around a former soldier who falls in love with a girl who happens to be a vampire. In order to be with her, the soldier must battle the man who sired her: A Hong Kong crime lord protected by hired killers. So it’s a comedy, clearly. [Deadline]

Lots of news to discuss here, movie fans. That’s your cue to drop some comments below. Also, watch the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey below.

Celebuzz Single Player No Autoplay (CORE)
No changes are to be made to this player