Last week there was word that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” helmer Rupert Wyatt had lined up another potential project, an adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ novel “Birdsong.” Well, it seems that the British director is eager to get started on his passion project as he’s already lined up his leading man.
From Berlin, THR is reporting that “Warm Bodies” and “X-Men: First Class” star Nicholas Hoult will play the lead role in the World War I-set film, playing an an army officer who falls in love with a married French woman before the war, but is sent to the trenches when war breaks out. Wyatt first attempted to mount an adaptation over three years ago, as the follow-up to his debut “The Escapist,” with Michael Fassbender, Paddy Considine and Brian Cox all cast before the project fell apart.
It seems that the success of his sophomore feature has given Wyatt enough clout to finally get it made with an actor that he loves. “[Hoult’s] great weight, depth and range as a fearless young actor allow us to explore this timeless story of a boy broken by a tragic love affair and what it means for young men to experience the real horror of war,” he said.
While the Civil War-era spy series “The Turn” will come first for Wyatt — he’s set to direct the pilot — it’s not clear what the progress for “Birdsong” means for the other projects Wyatt has in the mix like the Charlize Theron-starring “Agent 13” for Universal or the long-gestating real-life-spy story “Londongrad.” Though honestly, we’d wager that we’re going to hear a lot more about development on “Birdsong” since Wyatt has already written a screenplay. The trade paper lists no start date for production but does mention that Wyatt intends to shoot “on location in Belgium and the U.K.” Meanwhile, you can catch Hoult in theaters now as a zombie in “Warm Bodies” or slaying giants next month in “Jack the Giant Killer.”