The Children Of The Corn movie franchise has run for an inexplicably long time and has also introduced many viewers to future movie stars.

The Children Of The Corn series has an unusually strong track record of giving future movie stars their first major roles. There have been certain movies adapted from Stephen King’s work that really stretched the definition of “adaptation.” Probably the most notorious was 1992’s The Lawnmower Man, a virtual reality horror that had almost nothing in common with the King short story of the same name; the author later sued to have his name removed from the project. While 1984’s Children Of The Corn was broadly faithful to King’s tale, its countless sequels were most definitely not.


For such a concise little tale, Children Of The Corn still spawned an eleven-movie franchise. Considering the original wasn’t that great to begin with, many of the sequels are borderline unwatchable – with some crossing the border. Of course, these low-budget outings provided a good training ground for young filmmakers and performers, and looking back on the series, several of its actors would go on to become film stars in their own right. Here’s every future movie star who emerged from the Children Of The Corn series.

Related: Children Of The Corn: He Who Walks Behind The Rows Explained

Linda Hamilton (Children Of The Corn 1984)

Linda Hamilton thinks children of the corn is her worst movie

1984 was a big year for Linda Hamilton, who starred in both the original Children Of The Corn and The Terminator. Both were relatively low-budget genre offerings that became surprise hits. Hamilton probably expected Children Of The Corn to become the bigger hit, given that King’s name was attached to it. But while she gives a committed performance, the actor later reflected she felt Children Of The Corn was her worst movie. In the years after its release, she reprised her Sarah Connor role in T2 and 2019’s Dark Fate, in addition to fronting blockbusters like Dante’s Peak.

Charlize Theron (Children Of The Corn III: Urban Harvest)

charlize theron as eli follower in children of the corn 3

Children Of The Corn III moved the saga from Nebraska to Chicago, where a follower of the titular cult plans to bring “He Who Walks Behind the Rows” to the big city. Urban Harvest is one of the more enjoyably trashy outings of the series and ends with a gory monster massacre. A young Charlize Theron made her film debut as one of the cult’s followers and suffers a particularly unpleasant demise during the final act. Theron doesn’t get any dialogue either, while her character’s screams were dubbed by another performer.

Naomi Watts (Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering)

Naomi Watts in Children of the Corn 4

Naomi Watts would find stardom with horror movies like 2002 remake The Ring or David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, but her first leading credit was thanks to 1996’s Children Of The Corn IV. The Gathering isn’t one of the stronger outings in the franchise, but Watts manages to turn in a grounded performance as a medical student who has to protect her family from the latest batch of murderous kids. Watts later revealed to The Daily Beast she did the project purely for money – all $5,000 of it – and she couldn’t recall if it was the fourth or fifth entry she appeared in.

Eva Mendes (Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror)

eva mendes as kir in children of the corn 5

Children Of The Corn V saw a band of luckless teenagers running afoul of another group of “He Who Walks Behind the Rows” enthusiasts. Among them was Eva Mendes, playing Kir. This Children Of The Corn outing was Mendes’ first movie role, and she was reportedly so displeased with her work that she immediately hired an acting coach for future roles. In terms of quality, Fields Of Terror is neither the best nor the worst of the sequels, though the formula had already worn thin by this stage.

Next: Children Of The Corn 2023 Fixes The Original Movie’s Biggest Villain Flaw

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