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Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Magic Mike’ & Pierre Morel’s ‘Overdrive’ Recruit Alex Pettyfer

Written by on May 13, 2011 

Most people had likely never even heard of Alex Pettyfer until a few months ago when he he appeared in both I Am Number Four and Beastly — the two opened in wide release only a few weeks apart from each other. He’s continuing his climb up the Hollywood ladder, as THR tells us that the British actor has the lead role in Steven Soderbergh‘s male stripper movie, Magic Mike.

If you don’t remember, Magic Mike is a movie that’s described as a “story of friendship set in the world of male strippers,” with much of the influence coming from the actual experiences of star Channing Tatum and written by Reid Carolin. He performed as one when he was 19, and it captured Soderbergh‘s imagination. Tatum will be playing a mentor to Pettyfer‘s 21-year-old dancer; the character that the latter plays is based off of the former, in a mild case of meta-ness.

I haven’t seen anything that he’s been in, so it would be hard for me to make a complete judgement on this choice. However, it seems like the reviews of his performances in his two most recent movies weren’t very kind, so that should be taken into account. At the same time, though, it’s important to remember that Soderbergh can get good performances out of people who weren’t ever really talked about in the first place. I mean, look at the cast of Bubble; none of those people had ever acted before, but he was able to guide them along. He’s also been described as an “actor’s director,” so I don’t know if I would call this a bad decision just yet. Shooting begins this August in Los Angeles, so we should be able to reach some kind of conclusion soon enough.

In the meantime, he has another movie lined up, as Variety reports that he’s in negotiations for Overdrive, an action thriller produced by Taken director Pierre Morel. The story says that Matthew Goode is also in talks for the movie, and the two would be playing brothers. Written by 3:10 to Yuma and Wanted screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, it’s described as centering on “a pair of handsome and adventurous brothers, known for being high-profile car thieves, who travel to the South of France looking for new challenges and come across a tough local crime boss.” It’s set to be directed by Antonio Negret, who recently finished shooting the Joel Silver-produced Transit.

Producer Gregoire Melin described it as being “an action flick with brains and a great dose of humor, mixing elements of ‘Point Break‘ and ‘The Hangover.'” Morel will also be serving in a capacity past producer, with other duties to include action and art supervisor. Melin said that he’ll “be involved every step of the way, from the preparation to the production and shooting.” Kinology has U.S. sales rights, and is part of their Cannes roster, while production begins in the south of France with a release anticipated for 2012.

Does either project sound interesting to you? Have you seen anything with Pettyfer, and if so, what did you think of his performance?

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