James McAvoy in Talks to Star in M. Night Shyamalan Thriller (Exclusive)

Jason Blum is producing the supernatural thriller.
James McAvoy  Jonathan Short/Invision/AP

James McAvoy is in negotiations to star in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest supernatural thriller, an untitled project being produced by genre-loving Jason Blum.

The X-Men actor is stepping into the shoes that seemed initially earmarked for Joaquin Phoenix and would have marked a reunion between the filmmaker and one of the stars of his 2002 hit Signs.

Read more 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Is "The Culmination" of Previous Movies, Says Simon Kinberg

Reasons for Phoenix’s exit were not revealed but sources said a deal was never made, with one source saying the process never got past the discussion stage.

Talking about secrets, the plot of Shyamalan’s project is also under the veil but it is serving as his follow-up to The Visit, currently in theaters. The horror movie has grossed over $53 million on a budget of $5 million.

Marc Bienstock is also producing the new movie project. Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider are on board as exec producers.

McAvoy has become one of the key stars of Fox’s X-Men franchise, along with Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender, and recently wrapped shooting his third entry, X-Men: Apocalypse.

He also has Victor Frankenstein, a revisionist take on the Frankenstein story that co-stars Daniel Radcliffe, awaiting a Nov. 25 release. McAvoy is repped by UTA and United Agents. 

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