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Casting: James McAvoy in talks for TRANCE; Joel Courtney turns SUPER 8 into a career maker

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
June 23rd, 2011

From established A-listers, to one of this summer’s biggest up and coming stars, today is a good day for two particular thespians.

First, Variety is reporting that X-MEN: FIRST CLASS star James McAvoy will be taking over for Magneto himself, Michael Fassbender, in the upcoming Danny Boyle film, TRANCE. The actor is in talks to take on the lead role of the thriller, which follows an auction house assistant who conjures up a heist that he and a crew of thieves take on, only to suffer from amnesia after a blow to his skull.

The film is set to shoot come September, and will then go on the shelf when Boyle heads off to work on his 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony duties, and will come back come August of 2012 to edit the film and get it in the can for a 2013 release.

Now, yet another summer 2011 superstar has found a pair of new gigs, but this time, he’s a bit younger.

Variety is reporting that SUPER 8 star Joel Courtney is in talks to star in both TOM SAWYER AND HUCKLEBERRY FINN for director Jo Kastner, and he’s also joined THE HEALER, for writer/director Giorgio Serafini. 

Both projects sound like intriguing changes of pace for the young actor, with THE HEALER set to follow and “ailing father who takes his two teenage kids into the woods to renew the bond they shared before a divorce. The trio are soon swept into a supernatural adventure in a haunted forest. Courtney will play a rebellious youth who has grown up resenting his father. Just as he begins to warm up to his estranged dad, an apparent tragedy threatens to separate them forever and he’s left trapped in limbo between the living world and the afterlife.”

All three of these projects in question here sound really interesting, particularly the Courtney pair, as he’s a truly intriguing young actor. He was wonderful in SUPER 8, and really made that film have much more of an emotional core than it really had any right to have. Here’s to hoping that won’t be the only time we get to say that about one of his performances.

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