Sharlto Copley (District 9) is dropping out of director D.J. Caruso’s I Am Number Four due to scheduling conflicts with having to promote The A-Team this summer. Replacing Copley as the mentor and guardian of Alex Pettyfer’s “Number Four” will be Timothy Olyphant. While many were excited to see Copley land another big role, I’m sure if he’s great in The A-Team, he’ll land something else very quick.
For more on the movie and my thoughts on Olyphant, hit the jump. [UPDATE: We’ve also learned why Copley left the project. Find out the reason after the jump.]
The film is about nine earthbound aliens who escaped their planet just before it was annihilated by a rival species. Hiding out on Earth, disguised as human teenagers in high school, the title character discovers that he is being hunted by the enemy that destroyed his planet. Pettyfer plays the lead (Number Four), Olyphant will play Pettyfer’s guardian and mentor, Teresa Palmer (Number Six), and Dianna Agron will play a girl dating a high school jock who falls for Number Four and becomes his confidante. The film is being produced by Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg and it was written by Al Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville). I Am Number Four begins filming next month in Pittsburgh and is slated to hit theaters on February 18, 2011.
While many might be disappointed Sharlto Copley had to drop out, I think the movie just got better. While Copley was great in District 9 and perhaps he’s awesome in The A-Team, Timothy Olyphant has proven himself to be a hell of an actor in Deadwood, Go, and more recently on FX’s Justified. Of course every actor has to make due with the script he’s given, but I think Olyphant will shine in the role and I’m excited to see his take on the material.
With production gearing up on I Am Number Four, I’m sure we’ll hear more on this production soon.
[UPDATE: FilmDrunk (who have been right on their previous casting stories), gave this report as to why Copley left the project:
Sharlto Copley wanted wear a prosthetic nose and fake ears like Spock and look like an alien in the movie, while director DJ Caruso was adamant that the aliens were supposed to look just like regular humans, hence why they’re able to fit in. This was apparently such a sticking point that neither would budge, and Copley left the project. ]