LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Sharlto Copley, the South African actor who shot to fame as the ill-fated star of "District 9," is in talks to join the cast of "I Am Number Four," an adaptation of the upcoming young-adult science fiction book by James Frey and Jobie Hughes.
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 would play a man who hailed from the alien world's serving class but now is the title character's adult guardian and mentor.
D.J. Caruso is directing from a script by "Smallville" creators Al Gough and Miles Millar, who adapted a planned six-book series to be introduced in the fall by HarperCollins Children's Books.
In Neill Blomkamp's sci-fi movie "District 9," Copley played racist-turned-reluctant hero Wikus Van De Merwe. He parlayed the film's success into his first American movie, snagging the role of Howling Mad Murdock in summer opener "The A-Team."