Nicholas Hoult isn’t exactly a household name, but chances are, most moviegoers are familiar with the young actor’s work. Hoult first gained notice for his work in the 2002 comedy-drama About a Boy opposite Hugh Grant and Toni Collette.

These days, the former child star is quickly developing into a leading man. Hoult appeared as the young Hank McCoy/Beast in director Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class (a role he’s set to reprise in next year’s much-talked-about sequel) and starred in the zombie romance Warm Bodies, both of which received critical acclaim and financial success. Now it appears that the actor is looking to move on to a new genre.

According to Deadline, Hoult will star alongside Charlize Theron and Chloe Moretz in Dark Places, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn. The story follows a woman named Libby Day (Theron) as she investigates the mass murder that left her family dead. Hoult will play the treasurer of the Kill Club, the group assisting Libby with the case. French filmmaker Gilles Paquet-Brenner will write and direct.

While Warm Bodies went a long way toward transforming Hoult into a credible lead, the box office disappointment of Jack the Giant Slayer (in which he played the titular hero) has tarnished his lucky streak a bit. Dark Places will give him a chance to delve into heavier material and – like the X-Men franchise – allows the actor the chance to become part of an ensemble cast.

The level of talent involved also indicates that Dark Places will manage to find an audience. Theron’s career has experienced something of a resurgence in the last year, with both Prometheus and Snow White and the Huntsman (and Mad Max: Fury Road to come). Plus, the novel that serves as the basis for Dark Places was written by the author of Gone Girl, a current bestseller which David Fincher may adapt for the big screen.

Are you interested in seeing Hoult enter such dramatic territory after his string of more blockbuster-friendly fare? Sound off below in the comments section.

Stay tuned to Screen Rant for all the latest on Dark Places as the project continues to inch its way toward production.

Source: Deadline