I like Ralph Fiennes. He's a gifted actor whose credits, such as Schindler's List, The Chumscrubber and The Constant Gardener, have demonstrated his skill and versatility. Heck, I even liked him as suave super-agent John Steed in The Avengers (although his performance was slightly overshadowed by Urma Thurman in a leather body-suit) And I don't even fault him for appearing in Brett Rattner's disappointing Red Dragon. Fiennes portrayal of serial killer Francis Dolarhyde in the film was chilling and, at points, touching as well. He did a great job -- considering who he was taking direction from.

Which brings us to Fiennes' upcoming work. According to Production Weekly, the man has landed two more gigs to add to his already impressive list of credits. First off, Fiennes has been set to star for writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes in Gifted. The film, based on Ian Parker's New Yorker article The Gift, tells the story of controversial philanthropist Zell Kravinsky, who made millions in real estate -- but over the past six years has given nearly all of his $45 million estate away. And that's not all -- he even gave away one of his kidneys to a stranger who needed it. Fiennes will play the generous Kravinsky in the film. Production on Gifted is expected to start in the Spring in New York.

Not content to rest on his acting laurels, Fiennes is also going to be moving up to directing next year as well. After he finishes Gifted, Fiennes will segue into his directorial debut with the drama Snow Country. The film, based on the Japanese novel Yukiguni by Yasunari Kawabata and adapted by Nicholas Rohl, tells a love story set amid the desolate beauty of northern Canada, and chronicles the affair between a wealthy man and a 17 year-old Inuit girl being raised in a convent. Obviously, we don't have much to go on to know if Fiennes will make a very good director. That said, I like him enough as an actor to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I guess we'll know for sure when the film is eventually released. Production on Snow Country is slated to begin in September on location in Toronto, Winnipeg and the Arctic.