Since, oh, about January 2010, some of us have been waiting not-so-patiently to see Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures translated to the big screen. The story of the teen girl with magical powers, who fears that the forces of darkness will claim her when she turns 16, and the boy who’s telepathically connected to her for some mysterious reason piqued our imaginations instantly. And the Caster Chronicles’ small-town Southern setting was certainly ripe for a Hollywood adaptation. Last night, we finally got a good hard look at how this is all coming together in the movie, set to hit theaters February 2013 with a teaser trailer. If you haven’t yet been sucked into the books, the trailer alone gives us 10 good reasons to get excited for this movie:
1. Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan Wate
Broody, handsome — but not too conventionally so — and managing that Southern drawl with grace, Ehrenreich seems to be handling the male lead quite nicely here. Ethan has his world turned upside down by Lena’s arrival, and that’ll be a lot for this up-and-comer to handle over the course of the franchise.
2. Alice Englert as Lena Duchannes
Lena’s got a lot more on her shoulders than the hardship of being the new girl at school. She’s a powerful Caster (a sort of witch, for the sake of simplicity), and when she turns 16, she’ll be claimed by forces of light or the forces for dark.
3. All sorts of spooky magic
Between Lena’s freaky telekinetic skills, the telepathy linking her and Ethan and the overarching mythology surrounding the Casters and the town of Gatlin, this movie has plenty to please you Harry Potter/Matilda/Possession fans.
4. Viola Davis as Amma
The Oscar nominee plays a very different kind of nanny here — one who can see the future AND talk to the dead.
5. Jeremy Irons as Macon Ravenwood
Irons has just the right amount of gravitas to portray Lena’s scary overprotective uncle.
6. Hot romance
Oh yeah, it’s not all good-vs.-evil going on here.
7. Emmy Rossum as Ridley Duchannes
We love how she handles the seductive bad-girl attitude of Lena’s cousin — just look at how uncomfortable she makes Ethan!
8. Southern gothic scenery
Between the swampy, dark scenery around modern-day Gatlin and the flashbacks to the Civil War, this is one gorgeous setting.
9. Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lincoln
Does this movie have some hefty names in its supporting cast or what? Mrs. Lincoln’s speech about the “accidents, even deaths” that occurred around Lena in her old schools just gives us chills.
10. A unique take on that age-old struggle of fate vs. choice
All this magic and drama is grounded in the kind of dilemma facing every teenager: “I don’t know who I am inside. I don’t know what I’ll be,” Lena says in the trailer. Ethan thinks it’s up to her, not some family curse. Is he right?
[Photos: Warner Bros.]