9th Feb, 2013

Screen Daily by Andreas Wiseman

EXCLUSIVE: Warm Bodies star signs on for Rupert Wyatt’s adaptation of best-selling First World War love-story; Embankment handles sales.

In-demand UK actor Nicholas Hoult hassigned on to play the lead in writer-director Rupert Wyatt’s adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ best-selling First World War novel Birdsong.

Warm Bodies star Hoult will play Stephen Wraysford, a First World War officer, who falls in love with a beautiful older married woman.

Embankment’s sweeping love-story, a hot EFM seller, is due to shoot in the UK and Belgium later this year for an autumn 2014 delivery. The production is currently casting the supporting roles.

Alan Moloney (Haywire, Albert Nobbs) produces with Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Wyatt, who has long held the much-flirted with project close to his heart.

The director said: “Nicholas Hoult is the holy grail in my search for Stephen.

“His great weight, depth and range as a fearless young actor allow us to explore this timeless story of a boy broken by a tragic love affair and what it means for young men to experience the real horror of war.”

The actor currently stars in US box-office hit Warm Bodies, which debuted at number one last weekend, and will star in upcoming action films Jack the Giant Slayer, Mad Max: Fury Road and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The BBC TV-Working Title adaptation of Birdsong, starring Eddie Redmayne, garnered six BAFTA nominations last year after drawing more than 7 million viewers on BBC One.