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Crime novelist Gillian Flynn broke through last summer in a major way with her third novel Gone Girl. The missing persons thriller was a must-read for any self-respecting bookworm. But before Gone Girl scored its movie deal, an adaptation of Flynn's previous—and likewise celebrated—book, Dark Places, was already in the works.

In February, Charlize Theron signed on to play the film's female lead, and earlier this week Chloe Moretz entered into talks for the mysterious role of Diondra. (Warning: looking for details on this character leads to spoilers.) Today Deadline reports Nicholas Hoult, who recently fronted Warm Bodies and Jack the Giant Slayer, has joined the growing ensemble.

Theron will star as Libby Day, a lonely woman who twenty-five years before narrowly escaped the horrific murder spree that took her mother and sisters, and left her brooding teen brother the only suspect. The novel begins in the present, but flashes back to the past as Libby reconsiders what might have happened that fateful night, beginning an amateur investigation that rattles her view of her mother, brother, and much, much more. Helping her in the investigation will be Hoult's character, Lyle, a young man who is the treasurer for a group of creepy but well-intentioned murder mystery enthusiasts called the Kill Club.

Having read the book, I confess I imagined Lyle as being a little lankier/less hunky handsome than Hoult. Of course, this is a movie, and Libby's getting a beauty upgrade (unless Theron goes full Monster) so why not Lyle? Considering Hoult's lovable turn as the self-conscious science nerd Beast in X-Men: First Class, he seems a good fit for the socially awkward amateur detective whose alternately a friend and irritation to Libby. In short, it's looking like Sarah's Key helmer Gilles Paquet-Brenner, who is adapting and directing Dark Places, has the beginnings of an extraordinary cast. Next I'll be curious to see who Paquet-Brenner picks to play brother Ben.