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James McAvoy wanted for sci-fi thriller Extinction

James McAvoy

Though he might be best known in the sci-fi world for his portrayal of the younger Charles Xavier in the current X-Men movies, James McAvoy is looking elsewhere for a role in the genre. He's in talks to play a man confronting an army bent on Earth's destruction in Extinction.

According to Deadline, this one has been floating around for a while, attracting a number of writers including Spenser Cohen, Marco Polo's Brad Caleb Kane, and Lights Out's Eric Heisserer, who is winning plaudits for scripting new sci-fi drama Arrival.

McAvoy would play a husband and father who is haunted by nightmares in which his wife is attacked, but gets a chance to defend his planet when Earth is invaded. But even as he becomes a hero, he realises that the new arrivals might not be quite what he expected.

There's no director attached yet, and for now production companies Good Universe and Mandeville Films are keeping this one in development until the right director can be found. But McAvoy's attachment won't hurt the process. The actor will show up in Split (due January 20), Wim Wenders' Submergence and spy thriller The Coldest City, which arrives on August 11 next year.

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