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Alex Pettyfer to play racing driver James Hunt

Alex Pettyfer is continuing his efforts to make good on his Next Big Thing tag, by signing up to play British racing driver James Hunt.

DreamWorks, who are also producing Pettyfer's next big shot at stardom, I Am Number Four , are behind the adaptation of Shunt: The Story of James Hunt , a biography by Tom Rubython.

Hunt became the Formula One champ in 1976, and he was deemed to be a big factor in the growing popularity of the sport.

Hunt is quite a character for Pettyfer to get his teeth into. He was known for his fiery attitude behind the wheel, as well as his eccentric behaviour away from the track.

Hunt went on to become a commentator on the sport, before he died in 1993, aged only 45.

His life story certainly seems ideal for a cinematic adaptation, with a decent character to invest in amidst the high-speed racing action.

I Am Number Four is due for release in February, and following that Pettyfer can be seen in Beauty and the Beast update Beastly , which arrives in April.