After taking on the role of Gale Hawthorne in the wildly-anticipated film adaptation of “The Hunger Games,” Variety has announced that Liam Hemsworth will appear in the indie drama “AWOL” for first-time director Danny Mooney. Written by Jim Burnstein and Garrett Schiff, the film is based on a true story of a soldier (Austin Stowell) in Vietnam who is dumped by his girlfriend (Aimee Teegarden). Hemsworth will play the best friend who joins the the soldier in going AWOL (“Absent Without Leave”) in order to return to the states to get her back. The story’s action will be set against the backdrop of an anti-war movement at the University of Michigan. Fast-rising actress Teresa Palmer — seen this year in “I Am Number Four” and “Take Me Home Tonight” — is also among the cast, though her role is not yet known. Chris Lowell (“Private Practice“) and Max Adler (“Glee“) will round out the cast.
Hemsworth, who wooed Miley Cyrus in 2010’s “The Last Song,” has been cashing in on his new found fame recently, and in addition to “Hunger Games,” he’s also set to play Ali Baba in director Chuck Russell‘s (“The Mask“) $60 million 3D romp “Arabian Nights” (because it went over so well for Jake Gyllenhaal in “The Prince of Persia“). His co-stars, Stowell and Teegarden, are best known for their TV work (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and “Fright Night Lights,” respectively), so it will be interesting to see how they work on screen together. The film is also notable for bringing together such a young cast to tackle a war that happened before many of them were born; will the subject matter resonate with their fans?
Filming is expected to begin in mid-July in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the director’s hometown.