He’s dealt with teenage romance in Flipped, been friends with an alien in I Am Number Four and will shortly be seen as the younger Gatsby in
Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley are already aboard the film, which will find the Earth under the control of robots three years after an invasion. Everyone is confined to their homes or controlled by an implant, but McAuliffe and his mates figure a way around theirs and head off in search of his long-lost father.
But even as he seeks to reunite his family, he begins to realise that he’s got a much more important part to play in overcoming the techno threat.
Grabbers' Jon Wright is directing the movie, starting next month in Ireland, working from a script he wrote with Mark Stay.
McAuliffe will also be seen in Kite with Samuel L Jackson and has shot indie pic The Blue Potato. The Great Gatsby, meanwhile, hits our screens on May 16.