Beware the many bad puns and dirty jokes that will inevitably be spawned from this new image of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in his latest project, Horns. From Potter-related humor, to puberty humor to the many “horny” puns – we expect the Internet will be clogged with them all, as the film comes closer to its release date.

Based on the novel by Joe Hill, Horns tells the story of a young man (Radcliffe) who is accused of the violent rape and murder of his girlfriend. One day, the young man wakes to find he has horns growing from his head – horns that provide him the power to make people confess all their sins. Using these tools to his advantage, the young man investigates the death of his girlfriend and tries to prove his own innocence, while sliding down the slope of power and corruption until his quest for justice (and his soul) morphs into something else entirely.

Check out Radcliffe in Horns, courtesy of EW:

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While on the surface the premise of the film sounds like pure ‘million dollar movie’ viewing material (read: hokey), the talent involved suggests otherwise. Joining Radcliffe in the cast are up-and-coming actress Juno Temple (Dark Knight RisesKiller Joe), famous character actor James Remar (Dexter), young character actor Max Minghella (Social Network), and Keli Garner (Pan Am). The inclusion of Radcliffe and Temple in particular – both young actors who have shown artistic (over commercial) leanings in their recent role choices – suggests that there is something deeper, intriguing – and yes, perhaps darker about this film than there initially seems.

Radcliffe made an interesting (and ultimately impressive) choice to venture from Harry Potter fantasy to full-blown ghostly horror last year, with the solid Woman in Black; as for Horns, the actor provides a little insight into his role:

To play somebody who, in the midst of a time in his life of great turmoil anyway, undergoes this horrific transformation into a devil character — it was very, very exciting.”

Horns is being directed by Alexandre Aja, the filmmaker behind such visceral horror films as High TensionThe Hills Have EyesMirrors and Piranha 3D. We don’t yet have a sense of where Aja will be taking this film (into the B-movie kitsch territory of Piranha or the more hardcore and disturbing territory of Hills Have Eyes) – or perhaps the French filmmaker is going to offer us something new, like a psycho drama with shades of supernatural horror? The script for the adaptation is being handled by Keith Bunin, whose work on HBO’s In Treatment proves he has a mind for nuanced character study and well-crafted character drama – both of which we assume will be put to (hopefully) good use here.

Horns will be in theaters sometime in 2013.

Source: EW (Image credit: Doane Gregory/Red Granite Pictures)