The last we reported on Bryan Singer's next film, Jack the Giant Killer, the studio had given the project the official green light and the search was on for someone to star in the titular role of Jack.
After being rumored for the role of Cyclops in the Singer-produced X-Men: First Class, rising star Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) has been mentioned as the frontrunner for the lead role in Giant Killer. But now we're hearing word that although Johnson might have caught the eye of Singer, the actor isn't the only one in the running for the part.
Heat Vision is reporting that Johnson will test alongside Nicholas Hoult (Clash of the Titans) and the relatively unknown Aneurin Barnard (Ironclad) for the lead. Jamie Campbell Bower (Twilight, Harry Potter) was previously up for the role as well, but he has reportedly broken his ankle and can't test (bummer).
What's interesting is that aside from Johnson being previously linked to X-Men: First Class, Hoult is actually starring in the X-Men prequel as the character of Beast in his younger years. Singer was effectively using the casting process for First Class to find candidates for Giant Killer. A smart move, I'd say, considering First Class contains a lot of stars who are becoming more and more popular by the day (others include James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Rose Byrne).
If you're wondering about the conspicuous absence of female casting, then fear not as the key female role of a princess who gets kidnapped by giants and needs rescuing is just as sought after as the lead male role. Heat Vision reports that Adelaide Kane, Lily Collins and Juno Temple are all going to test for the princess role. Kane appeared in the Australian soap opera Neighbours; Collins starred in The Blind Side and can be seen in the upcoming Priest; and Temple is a rising star who has been making a name for herself in such films as Atonement and Greenberg.
Interestingly, the actors are being asked to sign eight-or-nine month holds, which is being described as an "extraordinary amount of time for a production." Is this just as a precaution on Singer and the studio's part because of the amount of technical work that's supposedly involved with Giant Killer? Shooting on the film was supposed to have started this past summer, but the daunting special effects work and the studio tightening the budget meant that it was delayed until early next year.
Every so often a project comes along that becomes THE project for the hot young stars of Hollywood to compete for. Other notable examples include David Fincher's remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity and Ridley Scott's Alien prequels.
Jack the Giant Killer represents yet another modern Hollywood film that takes a classic fairytale and puts a twist on it (see Red Riding Hood as another upcoming example). With the winning combination of Singer and Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) directing and writing, respectively, I'm very much anticipating Jack the Giant Killer.
As far as the lead role goes, I'd like to see Johnson get it. He was awesome in Kick-Ass and I really want to see him to go on to do interesting projects that also get him a lot of exposure as an actor. And for the lead female role, my vote goes to Temple as I think she's one of the more interesting young actresses to emerge from the indie scene.
No official schedules have been set for Jack the Giant Killer as of yet, but both Singer and the studio are eyeing tests to start in London in a couple of weeks. Shooting is expected to begin next March, with a release date TBA.
Source: Heat Vision