During the warm, lazy days of summer, Vanity Fair likes to turn its attention to Hollywood, declaring some actor or clutch of actors the future of entertainment. It rarely ends well. This time they've taken something of a shotgun approach, naming 27 young actors, aged 15 to 26, to be the brightest stars in Hollywood. I'm sure if they expanded things a little more, to say, everyone in California under the age of 30, they'd be certain to catch a winner in the bunch. Actual names, and the dreaded fates of those previously tapped by V.F. after the jump.

This year's crop includes the cast of Gossip Girl

The Jonas Brothers

And a passel of Judd Apatow finds like Jay Baruchel

and Jonah Hill

The interviews are essentially questionnaires with hard-hitting questions like "Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin?", but the accompanying article manages to achieve levels of inanity previously thought beyond the reach of man. Setting the scene to catalogue the survivors of V.F.'s first young Hollywood article in 2003, James Wolcott reminisces,

It was... a more innocent time in America... the Web site Gawker, that celebrity garbage-disposal unit, hadn't yet left its snot mark on the culture; its best worst years lay ahead.


The carnage from the 2003 article was grim: Lindsey Lohan, Mary-Kate Olsen, Evan Rachel Wood, Amanda Bynes. It's a veritable parade of rehab and stalled careers, but the Vanity Fair curse doesn't start there. The lone success was Shia LeBeouf. The health of his career is presumably due to his supernatural ability to make monkeys fight with Russians.

All the way back in November '95, Vanity Fair declared Julia Ormond was the face of the future. It only took that and Smila's Sense of Snow to decimate her career.

Then Gretchen Mol was similarly featured in September '98 with the headline "Is She Hollywood's Next 'It' Girl?" We haven't heard much from Gretchen since then.

So, to Vanity Fair's class of 2008, our condolences.

[via LA Times]