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Yelchin to Star in ‘Fright Night’ Remake

Craig Gillespie is directing Marti Noxon’s adaptation of the 1985 cult classic for DreamWorks

Anton Yelchin ("Star Trek") is going from "Charlie Bartlett" to Charley Brewster.

The 21 year-old rising star is in negotiations to topline DreamWorks’ "Fright Night" remake, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Yelchin first caught my attention nearly a decade ago playing Dimitri in Paramount’s bigscreen adaptation of James Patterson’s "Along Came a Spider." I interviewed him years ago for David Duchovny’s little-seen indie "House of D," and the talented young actor struck me as a male counterpart to Ellen Page. Yelchin started catching on in the mainstream after "Alpha Dog," and became a recognizable star with his Ferris Bueller-esque turn as the title character in "Charlie Bartlett." Now that he’s played Chekov in "Star Trek" and the young Kyle Reese in "Terminator Salvation," Yelchin is officially a Hollywood force to be reckoned with.

Which is why, to be honest, "Fright Night" feels like a step backwards for him, despite offering him another lead role in a major studio movie.

Yelchin is cut from the same cloth as Shia LaBeouf, and should be taking whatever projects the "Wall Street 2" star doesn’t have time for. I realize that LaBeouf broke out by starring in "Disturbia," which is basically "Fright Night" without the supernatural element, but that was before LaBeouf made the "Transformers" movies and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Who Cares," not after. "Fright Night" strikes me as the sort of medium-profile project Yelchin should’ve done between "Charlie Bartlett" and his two franchise films.

To be fair, Craig Gillespie ("Lars and the Real Girl") is directing "Fright Night" and his involvement instantly gives the project more credibility than say, higher-profile genre remakes such as "Halloween," "Friday the 13th" and "A Nightmare on Elm St."

Marti Noxon (TV’s "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") is writing the script, which will stick to the original concept and cast Yelchin as Charley Brewster, a teen who struggles to convince his friends and family that his new neighbor is actually a vampire. This comes as a major relief, as Shock Till You Drop reported in November that the remake would take a fairly lame meta approach, with a young man seeking the help of "Fright Night" star Chris Sarandon, who played the blood-sucking neighbor in the 1985 cult classic. It will certainly be interesting to see who DreamWorks casts as the vampire this time around.

Michael De Luca and Alison R. Rosenzweig are producing the remake, with Lloyd Ivan Miller, Michael Gaeta and Josh Bratman exec producing.

Yelchin next stars in Jodie Foster’s intriguing dramedy "The Beaver," opposite Mel Gibson and the director herself. Kyle Killen’s Black List-ed screenplay was weird and brilliant in all the right ways, so here’s hoping Foster did the script justice.