What a lovely read, sf. Really - I just wish, I could share your opimism.
The prods and directors might love him to bits, but at the end of the day, his films - and I take Tattoo out of this for now, as I also feel, it might make money in the coming weeks - ALL his films after QOS lost money and this year, big time. They will think twice before casting him. The film industry is about money, its not a love fest. TinTin is not really a Daniel film IMO and it also flops in the US, fortunately not abroad.
And yes, I feel sorry for him. If you put in effort into something, you want it to turn out well - if not - you are disappointed. He has had disappointment after disappointment. I wouldn't know, what to believe anymore and IN what to believe anymore. The best prods, the best directors etc and still - no success.
The failures of people like Depp etc show, that it is not all about the leading actor, but where do you look for the reasons? And it will be easy to brand him as BO poison.
If anything, I wouldn't consider his career as booming just now, but there is no way of knowing, where it will lead him. Nothing is lost just yet, but I wished, he was in a better position to go on.
Your point 5 about leading men being handsome. TOTALLY agree - they have to have the certain something, otherwise I could just look around the supermarket. He has it all and more I agree, that it doesn't distract from his fine acting, but yes, you have to watch closely to see the nuances in a world, where overacting is common.
I remember a recent interview, where they asked about Indie films etc and if he wants to do them again. His answer was "I might have to"
- which to me indicates, that this in NOT, what he really wants to be FORCED to do, because other roles are not available anymore to him. He enjoys too much the atmosphere on big sets, the option of using just the best people and material available, to elaborate on trying to make it the best film possible because all of above plus enough money is available. He is spoiled now and going back would be hard, if out of necessity.
BTW - for some reason, I see him doing really well once is leading man days are over. There are lots of juicy roles for a man, who is a character actor more then anything else. Also - just a gut feeling - I see him directing and producing in those later years - absolutely.
sf, again - I love your post and despite my musings, there is alwayys the chance, that those, who think positive win the day. I hope...
Sorry for the long post...