After a pair of scorching lead performances in two Danny Boyle films, "Shallow Grave" and "Trainspotting," it looked as though the world would be Ewan McGregor's oyster -- he was picked by George Lucas to play the key role of the young Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequels, and it seemed as though a star had been born. But outside of those films, and the role he'll perhaps be best remembered for in future generations, as the lead in "Moulin Rouge" (which this writer believes wouldn't work anywhere near as well without the tonal dexterity displayed by the Scottish actor), he never stuck the landing: for the most part, his Hollywood leads in pictures like "The Island" and "Down With Love" were disappointments, and he made patchy choices away from the tentpole world too -- see, or rather don't, "Stay" and "Incendiary."
He's starting to settle into a more interesting career as a supporting player now; "Beginners" and "Perfect Sense," which both hit later this year, are the most intriguing projects he's been involved with in years, and he's got "Haywire," for Steven Soderbergh, and "The Impossible," for "The Orphanage" director Juan Antonio Bayona coming up too. But tonight's brought news that the actor's circling another tentpole role, albeit one in which it appears he'll be playing second fiddle.
Heat Vision report that McGregor looks set to be the latest thesp to join the cast of Bryan Singer's long-in-the-offing adventure "Jack The Giant Killer," which retells the classic fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. McGregor will play the leader of the king's guard in the project, who aids the titular hero in his giant-slaying tasks -- suggesting that the actor has now graduated to mentor roles, which, quite frankly, makes us feel really old.
Nicholas Hoult, star of "About A Boy," "Skins," "A Single Man" and the upcoming "X-Men: First Class," has the lead, and the villainous roles will be taken by Stanley Tucci, as a treacherous adviser to the king (his highness, who appears to be central to the plot remains uncast at present), and Bill Nighy & John Kassar, who'll together play the two-headed leader of the giants.
The last role to be cast is the female lead, a princess; a part for which names like Juno Temple ("Cracks") and Lily Collins ("The Blind Side") were said to be testing for in the past. Heat Vision's report refers to two names in contention (although there are likely to be others); Australian actress Adelaide Kane, a veteran of the TV series "Power Rangers: RPM," who was one of the actresses mentioned for the character before Christmas, and Eleanor Tomlinson, who played the young Jessica Biel in 2006's "The Illusionist," and had a brief appearance last year in "Alice in Wonderland."
It's not a bad cast so far, by any means, even if we continue to wish that Singer was spending his time on something a little more substantial. "Jack The Giant Killer" will go before cameras at the end of next month in London, for a release at an unnamed point in 2012.