Alex Pettyfer, the British-born actor making his American debut by starring in “Beastly,” has nabbed the lead role in “I Am Number Four,” DreamWorks’ adaptation of the upcoming young-adult science-fiction book by James Frey and Jobie Hughes.
“Four” revolves around a group of nine aliens who escaped their home planet just before it was annihilated by a rival species. Hiding out on Earth, the title character (Pettyfer) disguises himself as a human high schooler, only to discover that he is still being hunted by his planet’s enemy.
“Smallville” creators Al Gough and Miles Millar wrote the screenplay, adapting what HarperCollins Children’s Books, which published the book in the fall, plans on being a six-book series.
Michael Bay is producing with Steven Spielberg. Chris Bender and J.C. Spink exec produce along with David Valdes.
Pettyfer, repped by WME and Untitled, is slowly moving up the ladder in terms of the size and scope of the movies he’s involved with. The actor starred alongside Ewan McGregor and Mickey Rourke in the British family adventure movie “Stormbreaker” and followed that up with two more U.K. films before coming out of nowhere to snag the lead role in the fantasy romance “Beastly,” one of CBS Films’ first projects.
“Four,” with a probable budget in the $50 million-$60 million range, would be his first major studio movie.