Despite the fact that he had no prior acting experience before entering into the Super 8 casting process, young actor Joel Courtney ended up being cast as the star of that high profile, J.J. Abrams directed film. And, beyond that, he gave a strong, authentic performance that did a great job anchoring the film and probably turned the heads of a lot of casting people in Hollywood. So, naturally, there’s starting to be some word about what his next projects will probably look like.
Firstly, Courtney is set to play Tom Sawyer in Jo Kastner’s adaptation of the Mark Twain novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. We’ve seen him dressed up as a movie geek from the 80s and he pulled it off well, I guess it’s time to see if he can embody barefoot river rat from the late 1800s as well. That film is set to start shooting in August.
Courtney is also in negotiations to follow that film up with something called The Healer, which is about an ill man taking his two sons out into the woods for some sort of father/son bonding experience that unwittingly leads to the threesome being swept up in supernatural goings on. Susan Johnson and Guiseppe Pedersoli are the producers behind that one.
Despite the fact that I liked the kid a lot in Super 8, these films will probably be the real test as to what to expect out of Courtney’s potential career. A lot of young actors break through with one amazing debut role, but then struggle to find much else of substance to do until they begin to reach adulthood. Let’s call it the Dakota Fanning Conundrum. There just don’t seem to be that many great roles out there written for kids. I guess we’ll see if Courtney has found some.