It’s too early out to predict just how Beautiful Creatures will look when all’s said and done, but this probably still isn’t news the Jack O’Connell camp wants to heard. According to Variety, the English chap’s been forced to leave Creatures — a film that could’ve been huge for him — on account of scheduling conflicts, though their own Jeff Sneider claims his visa simply couldn’t be cleared in time. If it’s the latter case? My honest sympathies.

In his place will be Alden Ehrenreich, a talented young actor best known for his leading work in Francis Ford Coppola‘s Tetro. Right there, we have film that, while not quite cohesive, allowed him to make a considerable first impression; a performance such as that, on display here, should make the switch an easy one for interested viewers to handle. (Later this year, he can also be seen in Park Chan-wook‘s Stoker.)

The film he’s jumping into is a supernatural love story, directed by Richard LaGravenese, in which he and Alice Englert will play young lovers, Ethan and Lena, who “uncover dark secrets about their families, their history and their town.” The impressive supporting cast, meanwhile, is filled out by Emma Thompson, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Irons, Zoey Deutch, Rachel Brosnahan, and Margo Martindale.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl wrote the source material, which Warner Bros. hopes to turn into one of their next big franchises. We’ll see how that goes when Beautiful Creatures opens on February 1st, 2013.

How do you feel about this replacement? Were you hoping to see O’Connell take the lead?

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