District 9's Sharlto Copley Set to Play with More Aliens

As if District 9 wasn't enough for up-and-comer Sharlto Copley, it looks like the actor (who's quickly becoming a sci-fi fan favorite) is returning to the world of aliens for another other-worldly pic called I Am Number Four. It's based on an upcoming young-adult sci-fi novel by James Frey and Jobie Hughes, and Alex Pettyfer (who stars in the upcoming Beastly) is already tapped to play the lead role, a character named Four.

Sharlto Copley

Well, it's not that he's named Four – see, he's one of nine aliens who escape their home planet before it's wiped out by a rival species, only to wind up hiding out on Earth disguised as a human high school student. We're guessing these aliens can shape-shift and make it so they look like humans, otherwise it might be a little strange to have some bizarre-looking alien sitting next to you in math class all of a sudden.
 
Copley will play an adult guardian and mentor for Four, after once hailing from the alien home planet where he was part of the serving class. His role sort of mirrors the one he played in District 9, since in that film he was in charge of looking after a bunch of aliens who crash-landed on Earth to make sure their move from one area to another went smoothly. Of course, if you've seen the film, you know that it didn't.
 
This first book (adapted for the screen by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar) is apparently part one of a six-book series, and DreamWorks is throwing a lot of faith behind the movie since it's being produced by Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay. Meanwhile, Eagle Eye's D.J. Caruso will direct. Could this turn into a mega franchise? Do you think it has that kind of potential?
 
Sounds pretty cool, but do you think Copley will ever get away from starring in films about aliens?
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