Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures reportedly offered Alex Pettyfer and Jennifer Lawrence the parts of Tom and Alice in The Seventh Son — the upcoming adaptation of the first book in the Last Apprentice series — but they passed on the roles. Since then, the studios cast out a wide net: Sam Claflin, Caleb Landry-Jones, James Frecheville for Tom; Alicia Vikander, Imogen Poots, Felicity Jones, Gabrielle Wild, and Dianna Agron for Alice. Variety reports that Claflin and Vikander have emerged from the young Hollywood scuffle to enter negotiations to star. Claflin is poised for a breakout as the effective Orlando Bloom replacement in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Vikander is a Swedish actress seeking her first credit in Hollywood — WB and Legendary considered her earlier in the year for a role in the sequel to Clash of the Titans.
From a creative standpoint, Vikander may have lucked out. Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, and their ten combined Oscar nominations are in talks to play the Spook and Mother Malkin, respectively, for director Sergey Bodrov (Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan). Joseph Delaney’s young adult novels center on “a 13-year-old who’s the seventh son of a seventh son and learns about wizardry from a forbidding spook.” Read the synopsis for Revenge of the Witch, the first in the series, after the break.
The books are referred to as The Wardstone Chronicles in the Delaney’s UK home — this book is also known as The Spook’s Apprentice, the original title of the movie. Claflin is 24, so it appears the characters are much older than the Max Borenstein screenplay. To those who have read the book: how drastically does this change the narrative?
The official description for Revenge of the Witch:
For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried–some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive.
Only Thomas Ward is left. He’s the last hope; the last apprentice.
Can Thomas succeed? Will he learn the difference between a benign witch and a malevolent one? Does the Spook’s warning against girls with pointy shoes include Alice? And what will happen if Thomas accidentally frees Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the county … ? [Amazon]