New movie changes District 9's star into an alien. Again

Ever since his awesome major-movie debut as the star of District 9, South African actor Sharlto Copley has been a guy to watch: Now comes news that he'll return to sci-fi in I Am Number Four, an adaptation of James Frey and Jobie Hughes' young-adult novel.

That's the news on The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog:

Alex Pettyfer, a British actor making his American debut with "Beastly," is playing the title role of Four, one of nine aliens who escape their home planet before its annihilation by a rival species and hide out on Earth disguised as human high schoolers. Copley is playing a man who hailed from the alien world's serving class but now is the title character's adult guardian and mentor.

The movie is written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar and directed by D.J. Caruso, with Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg producing.

In District 9, of course, Copley disappeared into the role of hapless hero Wikus van de Merwe, the South African racist who finds himself transformed into an alien "prawn"; he'll next appear as Howling Mad Murdock in this summer's feature-film adaptation of The A-Team.

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