For someone who insisted when District 9 came out that he didn’t really have a particular desire to act and wasn’t looking for other roles, Sharlto Copley seems to be doing a pretty good job of getting cast in high profile projects anyway. He’s got The A-Team coming out this summer, and now THR says he’s joined the fast-tracked adaptation of Joby Hughes and James Frey’s young adult book, I Am Number Four, which Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg are producing, with D.J. Caruso directing.
The book is about a group of nine children from a planet called Lorien who have been attacked by a hostile race from another planet. The nine children and their guardians evacuate to earth, where three are killed. The protagonist, a Lorien boy named John Smith (Alexx Pettyfer), hides in Paradise, Ohio, as a human and tries to evade his predators. Copley is in talks to play the guardian, a man who hailed from the alien world’s serving class but is now the title character’s mentor.
The film is being set up as a potential franchise, with Hughes and Frey working on another five books in the series. Personally, I can’t get over the fact it sounds exactly like the early 2000s TV series Roswell, but hopefully there’s a bit more to it than that.