When the New York Times reported over the weekend, in the midst of their article about DreamWorks, that Alex Pettyfer, the lead in the upcoming teens-and-aliens flick "I Am Number Four," was being groomed as the next Shia LaBeouf, we believed it. Now Monday morning, the actor has joined one high profile project, is being considered for another and is attached to a developing biopic. Not bad for an actor that until now was best known for playing the lead in "Alex Rider: Stormbreaker."
First up, Pettyfer and Matt Bomer ("White Collar") have joined Andrew Niccol's currently shooting sci-fi flick "Now" (formerly titled, "I.m Mortal"). The story is set in a world where time has become a currency with the rich achieving immortality and never aging past 25. The duo join a solid cast led by Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried with Vincent Kartheiser co-starring as Seyfried’s father, Olivia Wilde as Timberlake’s mother, Johnny Galecki as Timberlake’s alcoholic best friend, Cillian Murphy as a law enforcer known as a ‘timekeeper’ and Collins Pennie as Murphy’s right hand man. In case you missed it, you can check out from set pics from the film here.
Next, Pettyfer and Max Irons have joined the previously announced Aaron Johnson as contenders for the lead in Bryan Singer's upcoming "Jack The Giant The Killer." The ambitious and effects-heavy tentpole film is a big screen version of the classic tale that will find the titular hero traveling to the land of giants to rescue a princess. The film is set to go in front of cameras next spring and while Johnson is an early favorite, the studio is continuing to look at alternate options.
Finally, Pettyfer is producing and set to star in a biopic for DreamWorks about a Formula One racer James Hunt. Yeah, we didn't know who that guy was either, but according to Wikipedia, he was a Brit racer in the 1970s who was known for his colorful antics when he wasn't behind the wheel. He bedded women, abused drugs, went barefoot to social functions and even brought his dog to fancy restaurants. But he was also a favorite with the public and went on to become a very popular commentator in the UK. Sounds like some great material for Pettyfer to showcase a different side to his acting chops (at the very least, their resemblance is striking), but that one is still in very early days so it might be a while yet before we see it.
However, we'll get to see what makes him Shia LaBeouf 2.0 when "I Am Number Four" hits theaters on February 18, 2011.