No, “Byzantium” is not a sequel or something to Neill Blomkamp‘s “Elysium” but it’s the name of ancient Greek city which just happens to also be the title of Neil Jordan‘s next film, and the director has just settled on his male lead for.
Caleb Landry Jones — last seen whizzing through the air in “X-Men: First Class” and appeared last year in the found footage horror pic “The Last Exorcism” — has come aboard the vampire film “Byzantium.” Based on Angela Carter‘s book, the film, written by “Tamara Drewe” and “Jane Eyre” scribe Moira Buffini, involves a mother (Gemma Arterton) who, when turned into a vampire, converts her own daughter (Saoirse Ronan) into a bloodsucker as well, with the two going on to form a deadly pairing, occasionally posing as sisters. The duo arrive in a small British town and reveal who they are, causing a teenager dying of leukemia (Jones) to question his mortality and in turn, Ronan’s character begins to wonder about her own immortality. Bet you won’t see that on “True Blood” (though granted, this writer has yet to catch up with the current season).
Anyway, while we’ve had our fill with the vampire genre, Jordan’s involvement keeps us interested even if Buffini’s track record is spotty (“Tamara Drewe” was completely edgeless, while “Jane Eyre” was wonderful). Though his last effort “Ondine” was criminally underseen, Jordan is currently riding high off the success of his TV series “The Borgias” which has earned critical praise and the ratings to go with it. As for Jones, the part is a major boost with the actor already on the rise; he’s set to appear next in Mark Wahlberg‘s “Contraband.” Production on the $11 million “Byzantium” will begin in October. [Showblitz]