It was this fertile ground from which sprung New Line Cinema’s big-screen adventure “Jack the Giant Slayer,” a familiar tale given new dimension, with freshly rendered characters that draw audiences into a larger world of peril and destiny.
“Essentially, it’s everything you remember—and more,” says Nicholas Hoult, who first worked with director Bryan Singer on “X-Men: First Class,” and stars in the title role. “We’re firing crossbows, zip-lining across huge divides, swinging from vines and dodging flaming trees that the giants uproot and hurl at us. You never know what to expect.”
Singer’s version begins faithfully with the classic arc of a poor, ordinary farmhand who accepts the unlikely barter of a handful of beans for his horse and soon finds himself in possession of a mighty beanstalk—a living, vertical highway that leads him into a land where giants roam. Though unprepared for the dangers that await him there, he rises to the challenge, relying not only on his strength but also on his wits and courage to face the man-eating monsters of nightmare.
Says Singer, “Jack is a young man who might have made more of himself if not for the fact that he was orphaned as a boy and had to go live with his uncle and work their plot of land. He probably wanted to be a hero once, but now he just dreams of getting off the farm.
“We needed a strong, charismatic leading man who could still convey the innocence of a guy like Jack, who knows very little about the world,” he continues. “Nick is not only a talented actor, he’s also very funny. So, through the course of the story, he was able to take Jack from being shy and vulnerable to becoming the champion he needs to be, and also handle the humor that comes of his figuring it out along the way.”
“Things never quite go as planned for Jack, but he always lands on his feet,” offers Hoult. “He’s a good person and he’s willing to try his best, and that’s really the point. When he falls for the princess and knows she’s in trouble, his only thought is to help.”
Hoult was named one of Variety’s “10 Actors to Watch” in 2010. His most recent screen appearance was as the character R in “Warm Bodies.”
In 2011, Hoult was seen in Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class,” with James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Kevin Bacon and Oliver Platt. He played the young Hank McCoy in this film, which took viewers back to when Professor X and Magneto discovered their powers for the first time. In 2010, he appeared in the action adventure “Clash of the Titans,” starring Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson and, in 2009, in Tom Ford’s directorial debut, “A Single Man,” opposite Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.
He landed his breakout role in 2002 when he was only 11 years old, opposite Hugh Grant in the film “About a Boy,” as a young boy who will do whatever he can to make his chronically depressed mother happy, even if it causes himself grief.
A New Line Cinema presentation, in association with Legendary Pictures, “Jack the Giant Slayer” opens in the Philippines in IMAX 3D, Digital 3D and regular theaters on Feb. 28 and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.