By Simon Dang | The Playlist November 10, 2011 at 9:05AM
After being considered as a contender amongst a whole host of other substitutable young actors, newcomer Jake Abel has reportedly leaped out as the front-runner for one of two male leads in Andrew Niccol's adaptation of "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer's "The Host."
The actor was apparently battling it out with Dane DeHaan, Thomas McDonnell and Augustus Prew for the role of Ian, a menacing young man who brutalizes our protagonist before falling in love with her, and is now negotiating for the part.
Abel is a relative no-name but has already featured in young adult-centric films such as "I Am Number Four" and "Percy Jackson & The Olympians" and also worked opposite Ronan in Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones."
The hunt for the other male lead, meanwhile, doesn't seem to have made any progress, however, with the quartet of Liam Hemsworth
, Kit Harrington, Jai Courtney and Max Irons all still in the running for the role of Jared, Melanie's boyfriend.
Meyer's novels are set in the near future where alien parasite “souls” benevolently take over the consciousness of humans. One such “soul” named Wanderer inhabits the body of a dying woman, Melanie Stryder, who just happens to be obsessed with finding the last group of surviving humans. Ronan will take on the roles of the Wanderer and Melanie.
No word on when lensing is set to begin though with the Meyer pedigree, they already have their sights set on a March 29th, 2013 release date to capatlize on the post-'Twilight' market.