Sources tell Variety “300: Rise of an Empire”‘s Jack O’Connell, “Attack the Block”‘s John Boyega and “Magic City”‘s Christian Cooke have or are expected to test in the next week for the role of the young secret agent that is mentored by Firth’s veteran agent.
More may be added to the list but as of now these are three Vaughn as zeroed in on. There was talks at one point about Aaron Taylor-Johnson being eyed for the role but sources say that scheduling and also the fact that Johnson may have been asking for too much money may have led Fox to look at a rising star who does not cost as much.
Some insiders say there is a possibility Fox could go back with a larger figure to Johnson if they feel the need a bigger star is needed to get the greenlight but as of now Vaughn and the studio would prefer to see the tests through and see how the results turn out.
Fox is very high on the project ever since Vaughn took it on as his follow-up to “X-Men: First Class” and fought hard to make sure the film landed at Fox. The studio landed distribution rights in March on the project which Vaughn has already co-written with his writting partner Jane Goldman.
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Marv Films will finance and produce the film, based on the comic series by Mark Millar and David Gibbons. Production is expected to start this fall.
The role of the young agent is expected to be something that could launch a career and the three actors testing fit the profile of stars on the rise.
O’Connell, who is repped by CAA and Conway van Gelder Grant, is another actor to come out of the popular British TV series “Skins” and is making a name for himself. O’Connell was actually in line to star in the Alcon pic “Beautiful Creatures” but a problem with his visa forced him to fall out, an issue that actually worked in his favor since the film flopped at the box office.
Besides “Magic City,” Cooke has an opportunity to break out even if he doesn’t land “The Secret Service.” The WME, Managament 360 and United Agents actor has a handful of films set to bow in the next year that include Paramount’s “Destination Wedding” and Constantine Films’ “Love, Rosie.”