Six guys who might be in the vanguard of 21st Century stardom — Taylor Kitsch, Armie Hammer, Idris Elba, Aaron Paul, Garrett Hedlund and Aaron Johnson — grace the cover of Esquire‘s September issue. Which of these guys are likely to even be around ten years from now? And why aren’t the Hemsworth brothers, Chris and Liam, standing with this bunch?

The keepers and the growers are Hammer, Hedlund and Elba. Hedlund delivers a Dean Moriarty (i.e., Neal Casady) in Walter SallesOn The Road that isn’t great but is a lot better than you might expect, especially after Tron — eager, gentle, probing, carnal. Elba is a big maybe but I can sense….I don’t know what I can sense but something tells me “yeah, he might happen…just wait.” Hammer is obviously hunky, intelligent, appealing, uncomplicated. He just needs to get lucky with a really good role that doesn’t ask him to smile too eagerly or kill anyone premeditatively.

Forget Kitsch — too much of a glib-hustler vibe, too party-boyish, too short, two bombs in a row (John Carter, Battleship) plus a flashy drug-dealing movie with an absolutely horrific ending (Savages). I don’t think Johnson has it — Savages didn’t help him any more than it did Kitsch — but he’d be on a whole ‘nother level if he could use his natural English accent. And forget Paul because (a) he looks like a guy who might shoot up a multiplex, (b) he’s too short, (c) he’s merely the new Ben Foster and (c) he hasn’t done anything outside of Breaking Bad — he needs to star in a couple of good films or be in a good B’way play…something.