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Richard LaGravanese, the screenwriter who adapted such romance novels as The Bridges of Madison County, The Horse Whisperer, and P.S. I Love You, is finalizing casting on his next directorial effort Beautiful Creatures. Based on the YA novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, this Southern Gothic drama centers on Ethan Wate, a teen boy who falls for a mysterious girl named Lena Duchannes, who possesses some strange supernatural powers. Last week it was announced that Viola Davis had signed on to play a local librarian who serves as a mother figure to the film's hero. And now THR reveals who will fill the roles of these star-crossed lovers.
Jack O’Connell, a British inge-dude best known for his work on the salacious teen soap opera Skins, has entered final negotiations to play Beautiful Creatures's besotted boy, while Kiwi newcomer Alice Englert is very nearly set to portray his onscreen paranormal paramour. Beautiful Creatures would offer O'Connell a chance to step out of his current casting niche, playing gleefully violent youths in thrillers like Eden Lake and Harry Brown. The chance to be a teen heartthrob could also break him out of supporting roles for a stint, especially as Beautiful Creatures is just the first book in the ever-expanding Caster Chronicles, which has a fourth title due out this year. Could this possible franchise be the next Twilight? That's certainly what LaGravanese is hoping for. But who is this would-be Bella of Beautiful Creatures?
Alice Englert made her screen debut in 2006, starring in the short film The Water Diary, which was written and directed by Englert's mother, Oscar winner Jane Campion. She'll make her feature film debut later this year with a supporting role in the Josh Hartnett/Neve Campbell romance Singularity, and a role in Sally Potter's next art house effort Bomb will follow in 2013. So simply put, Beautiful Creatures will likely be a defining moment for this ingénue's career, one way or the other.
At present, there's no word as to when Beautiful Creatures may go into production.