11 February 2013 10:07 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Actor to play lead role in a big-screen adaptation of the acclaimed first world war-set novel

Nicholas Hoult is to star in the big-screen adaptation of the Sebastian Faulks wartime novel Birdsong, the TV version of which, starring Eddie Redmayne, was a critical hit for the BBC last year.

Hoult, at 23 the youngest of the current wave of British actors plying their trade in Hollywood, will play 21-year-old first world war officer Stephen Wraysford for another Brit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt. In the book, Wraysford vies to keep his men alive during the battles of the Somme and Messines in 1916 and 1917, while struggling with the memories of a doomed romance with an older, married French woman six years earlier.

Wyatt, whose revival of the long-running Planet of the Apes series of films was one of the genre critical hits of 2011, described Hoult as the »

- Ben Child

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