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NOV
30
4 YEARS

EXCLUSIVE: Bryan Singer Lining up Actors to Test for 'Jack the Giant Killer'

Aaron Johnson, Nicholas Hoult and Juno Temple
Getty Images
Aaron Johnson, left, Nicholas Hoult and Juno Temple

The hot, big movie that young Hollywood is vying for this month is Jack the Giant Killer, the Bryan Singer tentpole set up at New Line and Legendary Pictures, with testing to take place for the male and female leads.

No date has been set as schedules are still being worked out, but Singer and the studio are aiming for tests to occur in London within the next two weeks.

The script -- the most recent one is by Christopher McQuarrie -- is set in motion when a princess is kidnapped, threatening the long-standing peace between humans and giants.  A young farmer is then forced to lead a rescue mission to the giants' kingdom.

Aaron Johnson, Nicholas Hoult and Aneurin Barnard are up for the young farmer role.

Johnson, who starred in Kick-Ass, has been on the Giant Killer list since the summer, when Singer first began meeting with actors for the role. Hoult, who appeared in A Single Man, was already on Singer’s radar as he nabbed the role of Beast in X-Men: First Class, which the filmmaker is producing. Singer was using the casting process for X-Men to pre-select candidates for Giant Killer. Barnard is a relative unknown filmwise. He appears in the Medieval action movie Ironclad (which doesn’t have a domestic distributor) but is best known for the West End production of Spring Awakening.  

Jamie Campbell Bower, who appeared in Sweeney Todd and as Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1, was also on the list, but insiders say he broke his ankle and now can’t test.

On the female front, Adelaide Kane, Lily Collins and Juno Temple are testing for the part of the princess. Kane is an Australian actress who appeared in the popular soap Neighbours and starred in the TV series Power Rangers RPM. Collins appears in Priest, while Temple is an up-and-coming actress making a name for herself in the indie scene. Both are U.K. born.

The movie was originally to have begun production this past summer, but the heavy special effects work planned, with Singer pre-visualizing the work, on top of the studio tightening down on the budget, pushed the start date to March.

The actors are being asked to sign eight -or nine-month holds, an extraordinary amount of time for a production, according to sources in the representation community.