Sam Claflin and Alicia Vikander in Talks for THE SEVENTH SON

     March 31, 2011


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]

  • nelson

    you know that picture is of max irons and not sam claflin

    •!/colliderbrendan Brendan Bettinger

      I did not. I apologize to you, Mr. Irons, and Mr. Claflin. Should be fixed now. (That’s him, right?)

  • christopher451

    I’ve read the first book in the series, and I have to say that it makes no sense at all to cast an actor in his twenties in the role of Thomas. None at all. The book is about a young boy just beginning his apprenticeship. This is a big mistake, it will alienate the fans of the book completely. Season of the Witch, anyone?

  • Eleanor

    I hope they know what they’re doing. The success of the movie will depend on how true it is to the book. It won’t work otherwise, fans won’t stand for it. They need to keep the characters and story true, no messing around. It has the potential to be huge.

  • RDT

    Sam was great in POTCST movie but seriously?! He’s too old to play Tom! Tom is 13 in the book. No matter how much make make up they put on him, they cannot make Sam Claflin look like a 13 year old boy. Asa Butterfield would fit nicely or they could hold an audition all over the UK . JUST Please do not murder one of my favorite books by casting the wrong people.

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  • Olympia

    Joseph Delaney’s books for me are one of the best-ever books, but when i heard that they’re finally going to make a movie out of it, i was very happy. but now i don’t know what to think, because all the actors they are proposing to, are very old. this should be like harry potter movies. a young actor, doesn’t matter if he’s famous or not, that will grow old as the movies will progress. plz don’t destroy the books.