Deferred concerts, delayed films, rescheduled books and canceled exhibitions: 2020 was a year of creativity postponed—which means 2021 just may be the most jam-packed year for entertainment in recent memory. As two years’ worth of albums finally drop and films land unconventional (but really-happening-this-time!) release dates, the year in culture is filled to the brim. But among the pack of creative voices, a dozen rise to the top: creators who could have a career-making 2021, whether for a spate of projects in the works (such as short stories, two follow-up novels and a screen adaptation from Booker Prize–shortlisted author Brandon Taylor) or the singular and magnetizing nature of a single show (Pakistani artist Salman Toor’s spellbinding Whitney Museum show, already a hit since its recent opening). Aubrey Plaza will make us laugh; Colman Domingo will make us cry (and collaborate with fellow listmaker Nia DaCosta in Candyman); Tainy’s music will get stuck in our heads. And we will marvel at the unclassifiable splendor of Japanese Breakfast.
Above all, we will celebrate a new year and a new vanguard of talent. WSJ. Magazine presents the 12 most exciting entertainers and creators you’ll come to know over the 12 months of this year:
‘The Crown’ Actor Emerald Fennell on Her Dark Comedy ‘Promising Young Woman’
The rising auteur—known for ‘The Crown’ and ‘Killing Eve’—writes and directs her first feature film, ‘Promising Young Woman,’ and reworks ‘Cinderella’ for the modern age
By Caryn James