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Nicholas Hoult Soldiers Up For Rupert Wyatt's WWI Love Story

At the rate he’s working, actor Nicholas Hoult might star in every fifth film released in the next few years. Having recently shown his undead chops as the lead in Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies, Hoult is quickly proving he’s capable of any genre he tackles. He’s got Jack the Giant Slayer on the immediate horizon, and Mad Max: Fury Road and the next X-Men installment coming next year. Now audiences can expect to see him as a soldier in a war drama.

Variety reports Hault has joined the WWI love story Birdsong, adapted from Sebastian Faulks’ time period-shifting 1993 novel of the same name. The film will be directed by Rupert Wyatt, who gave us 2011’s highly enjoyable Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Wyatt, who also gave us 2008’s The Escapist, wrote the screenplay on this one as well.

Hoult will star as Stephen Wraysford, who is sent to France for work and gets involved in a scandalous relationship with an older woman before being shipped off to fight in the Great War. There is no word on whether the film will also include the sections of Faulks’ novel that involved Stephen’s granddaughter, and her investigation into his life, but that could make a more interesting tale. Casting is underway to fill in the film’s other roles.

Wyatt seemed ecstatic about landing Hoult, calling him “the holy grail in my search for Stephen.” He goes on to say, “His 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.”

It’s almost certain one of Hollywood’s more talented 40-year-olds will land the female lead on this film’s path to award nominations. It isn’t necessarily something I would personally anticipate viewing, but it would take a conscious effort to mishandle that solid source material.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.