'Super 8' Star Joel Courtney Cast in 'Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn'
It's great to hear that one of the lead youngsters from J.J. Abrams' Super 8, 15-year-old Joel Courtney (who we interviewed), has started moving along in his acting career. Variety is reporting that Courtney has "entered negotiations" to join the cast of two independent movies, the first an adaptation of Mark Twain's classic adventures of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, the other a supernatural adventure called The Healer, from writer/director Giorgio Serafini (Game of Death). Jo Kastner is writing and directing the Sawyer/Finn film, in which Joel will play Tom Sawyer. That one will start shooting this August in Bulgaria.
Before we get back to Mark Twain, in The Healer, Joel would be playing a "rebellious youth who has grown up resenting his father." The story follows an ailing father who takes his two teenage kids into the woods to renew the bond they shared before a divorce, but they're swept into a supernatural adventure in a haunted forest. They go on to drop this kind of spoilerish bit: "Just as he begins to warm up to his estranged dad, an apparent tragedy threatens to separate them forever and he's left trapped in limbo between the living world and the afterlife." Interesting concept and curious to see how this works. That reminds me of James Wan's Insidious, if anyone has seen that as well. This one will start production in North Carolina this September.
As for Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, we haven't seen an adaptation of the classic stories since 1993, the one with Elijah Wood, but now it's up to Joel Courtney, in only his second film acting gig in his life, to play "one of the most iconic characters in American fiction." Of course, Tom Sawyer is only one of the two main characters in this, and we'll have to wait to see who they cast as Huck Finn as well. I'm intrigued that this is just an independent production, and that they'll be shooting in Bulgaria, but I hope we'll get a great adaptation in the end anyway. We'll be sure to keep everyone updated on both of Joel Courtney's projects.