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Nicholas Hoult scores the lead in Jack the Giant Killer

British actor Nicholas Hoult has been cast as the lead in Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Killer .

Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson had long been considered the front-runner to play Jack, so this news is something of a surprise (though certainly not an unwelcome one).

Hoult is playing Beast in this summer's X-Men: First Class , which is being produced by Singer (so the actor must've made a good impression there).

Hoult first came to attention as Hugh Grant's young companion in About A Boy , before starring in the first wave of hit teen drama Skins .

He's since notched up an impressive supporting turn in A Single Man , and he also showed up in Clash of the Titans .

First Class will be his highest profile role to date, and this casting news ensures that all eyes will be on him when that movie's released on 2 June.

A few days ago it was announced that Stanley Tucci and Bill Nighy had been cast as a villainous royal advisor and a two-headed giant respectively in Singer's revisionist fairy tale.

Jack the Giant Killer is set for release in 2012.