We can’t yet determine how these two endeavors will turn out, but Michael Sheen is moving away from Twilight and Jesus Henry Christ. For that alone, this is an improvement.

Anyway, Variety informs us that the Welsh actor is in talks for Mariah Mundi & the Midas Box, a film version of G.P. Taylor‘s children’s novel that Jonathan Newman has been tapped to direct. Sam Neill, Lena Headey, and Ioan Gruffud are also being eyed for the Victorian London-set story that tell of “a 15-year-old boy, Mariah Mundi, whose world is torn apart by the disappearance of his parents, then the kidnapping of younger brother by unknown assailants.”

Sheen will play an “Indiana Jones-ish adventurer, Captain Charity, [with whom] he sets off in pursuit, arriving at the Prince Regent, a hotel hiding a fantastical underworld.” Dr. Grant will appear as “an arch villain,” Sarah Connor “his witch-seductress,” the main character has yet to be cast, and Mr. Fantastic is being left out in the dust.

Small SoldiersGavin Scott has, along with Gnomeo & Juliet‘s Rob Sprackling and John Smith, written the screenplay, which will be produced into feature life by Entertainment Motion Pictures, Arcadia Motion Pictures and uMedia; the first of those has bought rights to the whole trilogy. The inaugural book is the only one guaranteed to get an adaptation, and that will begin shooting on April 30th.

Other news comes from BloodyDisgusting, who tell us that Exclusive Media and Hammer Films — who must be back in full swing — want Sheen to lead an upcoming project, The Quiet Ones, from writer and director John Pogue. One of those “based on true events” horror pictures, Quiet Ones tells “a supposedly true story about a team of Cambridge academics in the 1970’s who record their investigation as they attempt to exorcise a poltergeist from a young girl.” Sheen would more than likely play one of the academics; Nicolas Cage was once offered this role, and Homeland actor Damien Lewis might also get in on the action.

It, like Mundi, doesn’t get my cinematic senses flowing right now — but it’s worth repeating that, yes, I’m happy about Sheen taking on something that might (read: probably will) be better than much of his recent filmography.

What does either project say to you? Is Sheen the right choice for them, or are they the right choice for Sheen?

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