Marsden Is A Straw Dog

Takes the Hoffman role in remake

James Marsden is one of our favourite not-quite-A-listers here: not only was he Cyclops in X-Men, but he made us laugh a lot in Enchanted and nearly as much in 27 Dresses. But there's more to him than superheroes and rom-coms: he's got projects with Neil LaBute, Richard Kelly and David O. Russell coming up, and now he's signed on to star in Rod Lurie's remake of Straw Dogs, in the role originally filled by Dustin Hoffman.

The film's plot has been shifted from the English countryside that director Sam Peckinpah used last time to the Deep South of the US, but the set-up remains similar. Marsden plays a Hollywood screenwriter who moves to his wife's hometown down South, but there the estranged couple continue to fall apart, while old tensions with the locals reemerge, leading to violence. Both films are based on Gordon Williams' novel The Siege At Trencher Farm.

The whole thing's written and set to be directed by Rod Lurie, formerly a writer of this Empire parish, with filming due to begin in August. It's not a group of people and a film we'd have put together, but let's hope it turns out interesting.