Joel Courtney Will Be Tom Sawyer

From Super 8 to Mark Twain...

Talk about your wild Hollywood ride: fresh from his first film role in JJ Abrams’ Super 8, 15 year-old actor Joel Courtney is now in negotiations for two new parts, with the highest profile being a new adaptation of Mark Twain’s classic tale The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer.

Courtney will be the title character, an adventurous sort who heads out in search of trouble around 1850s Missouri. Jo Kastner is at work on the script and plans to make the movie his directorial debut. The plan is to kick off shooting the film this August in, er, Bulgaria. Which doesn’t sound like the most obvious place to recreate the American South, but we bet the tax breaks are attractive.

When he’s done with that, Courtney will move on to The Healer, which Giorgio Serafini is writing and directing.

The plot finds a sick father who takes his two teenage children into the woods to try to restore the family bonds they shared before their relationship was ruined by a bitter divorce. Courtney will be a resentful son who finally starts to warm up to his dad, only for supernatural events to intervene that leave him trapped in limbo between the world of the living and the dead. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?