Alex Pettyfer

Earlier this week we learned that Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker and Beastly star Alex Pettyfer was in talks to play the lead character in Dreamworks’ Michael Bay/Steven Spielberg-produced D.J. Caruso-directed teen sci-fi alien adaptation I Am Number 4. And today Disney has launched an official Facebook page for the film, which includes a release date:

February 18th 2011 — less than a year away?

Seems a bit soon, right? If true, the film is going head to head with Jonathan Liebesman’s alien invasion war film Battle: Los Angeles, which by the way, has been in post production since late last year.

The screenplay adaptation was written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar, which kind of makes sense if you think about it (teenage aliens that fall from space to earth?). Caruso is of course the director responsible for Taking Lives, The Salton Sea, Two for the Money and more recently, Disturbia and Eagle Eye. Bay has previously been developing the project as a potential directing gig.

Here’s the plot of the novel:

I AM NUMBER FOUR focuses on the fate of nine gifted children and their guardians, the sole survivors of a bitter war on their home planet called Lorien, who have settled on Earth under the protection of a charm that means their enemies can only kill them in numeric order. Three of the nine are dead; the novel’s narrator is number Four. The nine children and their guardians evacuate to earth and the protagonist, a Lorien boy named John Smith, hides in Paradise, Ohio, as a human and tries to evade his predators.

The first book of the planned four book series written by A Million Little Pieces author James Frey and Jobie Hughes, is set to hit book store shelves on August 17th, 2010. You can now preorder the 352-page book on Amazon for around $11-$12. The project was fast tracked after the release and success of District 9.

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