Nicholas Hoult headlined the cast of two films that hit #1 at the North American box office in 2013, but he’s still not on the Hollywood A-list. Determined to get there, the British actor and model, who starred in last year’s Warm Bodies and Jack the Giant Slayer, is now going to prove his mettle as a dramatic lead in Sand Castle, an Iraq War drama from commercial director Seb Edwards.
Sand Castle comes from Chris Roessner’s Blacklisted script, based on the scribe’s own experiences as a machine gunner for two years (and more than 200 missions) in Iraq. Hoult will play Matt Ocre, a soldier trying to protect Baqubah, a dangerous farming village in the country’s volatile Sunni Triangle region. The story will focus on Ocre’s relationship with his platoon leader, Sergeant Baker (who has not yet been cast).
As I mentioned above, Hoult proved to be a formidable leading man in 2013, even if he is not yet a household name. Currently, he’s hard at work on the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, as well as Young Ones, Dark Places and Mad Max: Fury Road. Even if some did not recognize his face as he sat next to Jennifer Lawrence in the front row of the Dolby Theatre, there is good potential for his star power to ascend between those projects and Sand Castle‘s release.
Director Seb Edwards, who has won various awards for his commercials, has had an interesting career too. He played the young protagonist in John Boorman’s 1987 drama Hope and Glory (where he was credited as Sebastian Rice-Edwards) but never starred in another film. He made a short titled Friday, in 2011, but he’s best known as one of England’s top and winningest commercial directors, producing TV spots for Adidas, Volkswagen and Virgin Media, among others.
It’s still early days on Sand Castle but it certainly sound promising thus far. With the talent that’s currently attached, I have high hopes for this one.
As always, we’ll keep you posted when we hear more.