Attention, out-of-touch parents! If you want to plan ahead on knowing your tween and teen daughters’ movie crushes, start reading up on Alex Pettyfer. Not only is the British model turned actor about to appear in next month’s DreamWorks/Touchstone adaptation of the James Frey and Jobie Hughes young-adult sci-fi novel I Am Number Four, but Vulture hears that the 20-year-old model-actor also has the offer to star in another YA-franchise coming to the big screen: Screen Gems’ adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. In fact, insiders tell us that Screen Gems chief Clint Culpepper feels so strongly about casting Pettyfer in the supernatural love story that he only wants to green-light the film if he can land the actor. Negotiations are expected to begin late this week, and a formal announcement could come as early as next.
For the uninitiated (translation: old), Clare’s series is about a female teen who falls in with a tribe of “Shadowhunters” who track down and kill demons loose on the streets of New York City. The first installment, City of Bones, quickly became a best seller when it was released in 2007, and it’s easy to see why: The books are basically Twilight with demons instead of vampires. Headstrong teen girl as main character? Check! Hot-guy love interest kept at bay by a Terrible Secret? Check! Best guy friend secretly pining in the wings? Check! (If you need to know more, the complete breakdown of the Mortal Instruments story line is available here.)
A breakdown of the character Pettyfer has been offered, the sarcastic Shadowhunter Jace Wayland, calls for a heavily inked-up teen with strange symbols all over his rippling, muscular body. Fortunately, Pettyfer already has seven tats, including a Celtic cross on his chest, Arabic script on the inside of his right arm, and Chinese logograms on his lower waist; it’s casting Kismet! As for the heroine, Clary Fray, last month Mortal Instruments director Scott Charles Stewart (Priest) cast 21-year-old starlet Lily Collins (who was in Priest, as well as The Blind Side). Insiders familiar with the situation say that Screen Gems now wants to polish its script a bit, but plans to start shooting the film in March, provided a deal can be made with Pettyfer.