Jack O’Connell Out, Alden Ehrenreich In for Male Lead in ‘Beautiful Creatures’ Adaptation

By  · Published on April 11th, 2012

In a surprising move, Alcon Entertainment has quietly replaced the male lead in their upcoming big screen adaptation of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl‘s “The Caster Chronicles” novel, Beautiful Creatures. British actor Jack O’Connell was first set for the role of Ethan Wate back in February (along with lead actress Alice Englert), but Deadline Burlington now reports that he’s been replaced by Alden Ehrenreich. There’s no word on just why the replacement has occurred.

Ehrenreich has been on the cusp of stardom since Francis Ford Coppola cast him in 2009’s Tetro, and he’ll next be seen in the director’s Twixt. Beyond that, Ehrenreich has only lined up a few other roles, including a supporting role in Chan-wook Park’s Stoker and a starring spot in Melanie Shaw’s Running Wild, so this casting should prove to be a huge boost for his career.

The film is set in small town Gatlin, South Carolina and it follows the intersecting lives of Lena (Englert) and Ethan (Ehrenreich) after the bewitching Lena moves to town. Lena is apparently in possession of some sort of supernatural power as a “Caster,” one that endangers both her and Ethan after they fall for each other and discover a family curse that involves both them and most of Gatlin.

The book is the first in a planned five-book series; Garcia and Stohl have also penned “Beautiful Darkness,” which was published back in October of 2010; “Beautiful Chaos,” which followed last October; and “Beautiful Redemption,” which is due out on October 23. Richard LaGravenese has adapted the script for Beautiful Creatures and will direct from it.

The rest of the film’s cast includes such big names as Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, and Emmy Rossum, already setting Beautiful Creatures as a film to pay attention to, new Twilight or not.