10 actors that were supposed to be the 'next big thing' but never made it

10 actors that were supposed to be the 'next big thing' but never made it

The movie business is notoriously hard to get into. While thousands of people travel to Los Angeles each year with dreams of making it big in Hollywood, a lot of them end up fitting in auditions in between their shifts at Starbucks. Yet even when you get one or two promising gigs, that doesn't mean you're going to make it all the way.

An actor's big break can lead to a multitude of other interesting (or at least well-paid) projects for them to work on, but it doesn't always work out. There are plenty of people we can look back on and wonder what exactly happened. While many of the entrants on this list are still doing pretty well for themselves, there was a point where it looked like they would be taking the world by storm, but didn't quite make it...

1. Taylor Kitsch

Kitsch has had a few opportunities to hit the big time, but got pretty unlucky. Rather than the blockbuster franchise it was meant to become, John Carter ended up being one of the biggest box office flops of all time. Battleship was another blockbuster that didn't do too well, and his appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was being badly received by many fans and critics.

2. Alex Pettyfer

Stormbreaker and I Am Number Four were both Young Adult series that never got past their first movie. While he was good in the first Magic Mike, he wasn't there for its sequel.

3. Dakota Fanning

Fanning was the go-to child actor for a long time, starring in movies like War of the Worlds, Charlotte's Web and Man on Fire, but these days she's been overtaken by her younger sister Elle.

4. Chad Michael Murray

From teen heartthrob in One Tree Hill, his career didn't exactly flourish after the WB drama series ended in 2011. He has, however, written two novels in the last few years.

5. Danny Masterson

Danny Masterson was one of the most popular actors on That 70s Show, but unlike his co-stars Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, he hasn't hit the big time in the years since.

Steven hyde that 70s show Credit: 20th Century Fox

6. Megan Fox

Like her or not, Fox was one of the fastest rising stars in Hollywood. She left the Transformers series after the sequel (calling the director a Nazi on her way out), but hasn't had many successful roles since - aside from Jennifer's Body and the latest TMNT movies.

7. Mischa Barton

Back when The O.C. was the biggest show on television, Barton was named the 'It Girl' by Entertainment Weekly. Now she is rarely in the spotlight in quite the same way.

8. Taylor Lautner

Despite being type-cast for their roles in the Twilight series, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have been in a variety of interesting movies over the last few years. Lautner hasn't fared as well, moving from a few flops on the big screen to more television work.

9. Shailene Woodley

With the huge success of The Fault In Our Stars and the popularity of Young Adult blockbuster Divergent, it looked like Woodley was going to be the next big thing. Unfortunately, the Divergent series petered out and didn't end up filming its final entry. She may be having a resurgence, however, after appearing in the well-received series Big Little Lies.

10. Sam Worthington

To be completely honest, I find it really difficult to tell the difference between Sam Worthington and Jai Courtney. Worthington is easier to remember as "that guy from Avatar" these days, as people weren't too impressed with Clash of the Titans and Terminator Salvation. However, with several sequels on the way, it appears that the Avatar money keeps on flowing.

While there are definitely actors on this list that have made plenty of money and still get to star in fairly big movies, it's clear that something along the way prevented them from truly making the big leagues.

It just goes to show that talent and smart decisions go a long way in show business, but you need a little luck on your side too if you want to be the next Tom Hanks.