By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com March 21, 2011 at 2:08AM
Alex Pettyfer Out Of Project Formerly Known As 'The Last Apprentice'
Her co-star Annette Bening may have picked up the lion's share of the awards nominations, after the decision was made to push both actresses for lead, rather than supporting, but Julianne Moore really was excellent in "The Kids Are All Right," one of the very best performances in a career that isn't exactly starving for great turns. Not that Moore's resting on her laurels; she's averaged three films a year for the last decade, and she's got the Steve Carell/Ryan Gosling comedy "Crazy, Stupid, Love" on the way later this year, along with the Robert De Niro drama "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City," and she recently signed to play Sarah Palin in HBO's "Game Change."
Amidst all of this, she's managed to find some time to squeeze in another project, and it's something of a change of pace for the star. Moore's not exactly a staple in the action blockbuster world -- while the likes of "The Fugitive" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" cropped up in the early part of her career, you have to go back a decade, to "Evolution" and "Hannibal," for anything close to a tentpole (though Moore did lend her voice to the killer computer in "Eagle Eye," but sensibly chose to be uncredited for the role).
But Bloody Disgusting reports that Moore's dipping her toe back in the blockbuster waters, taking on a villainous role in Warner Bros' "The Seventh Son," the latest retitling of the adaptation of Joseph Delaney's popular series of young adult novels (the project was previously known as "The Spook's Apprentice" and, more recently, "The Last Apprentice"). Moore will play the principle villain of the piece, Mother Malkin, who sucks the blood out of young women to keep her youth and battles a witch-hunter known as the Spook, and his young apprentice Tom Ward.
Moore isn't the only acclaimed actor in the cast -- Jeff Bridges signed on to play the Spook a few weeks back. The film is having more trouble casting its younger leads however -- "Winter's Bone" Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence, who was linked to the role of Alice, a witch-in-waiting, is out, having opted for rival young adult franchise "The Hunger Games" instead, while "I Am Number Four" star Alex Pettyfer, who was offered the lead role, is no longer in the running either. Is this a sign that his star's been tarnished by the underperformance of his two big spring projects, and by rumors of bad behavior? Or is he heading to "The Hunger Games" as well?
Even so, it's shaping up to be a fairly impressive cast, with Bridges and Moore on opposite sides of the good and evil spectrum, so we're certainly more intrigued by this than by rival teen-friendly would-be franchises -- Warners and Legendary Pictures are clearly hoping that it fills the gaping hole left by the end of the "Harry Potter" franchise. "Mongol" helmer Sergei Bodrov is making his English language debut on the project, and filming begins in September, so we're likely to see it some time towards the end of 2012.