Deadline reports today that Olivia Williams (‘Dollhouse’) has been cast in a big screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s novel ‘Seventh Son’. Joining Williams will be Jeff Bridges (‘Tron’), Julianne Moore (‘The Big Lebowski’), and Ben Barnes (‘The Chronicles of Narnia’). ‘Seventh Son’ will be directed by Sergey Bodrov (‘Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan’) from a script by Max Borenstein (‘Swordswallowers and Thin Men’) and Charles Leavitt (‘Blood Diamond’).

Card’s ‘Seventh Son’ is the first novel in his ‘Tales of Alvin Maker’ series. The young adult novel is set in an alternate history during the early 19th century America. In this alternate world, most people have abilities to do one thing almost supernaturally well. The story follows a young man, Alvin, who finds that, by merit of his being the fabled seventh son of a seventh son, his ability far surpasses that of the normal person’s. Alvin is able to alter matter by sheer force of will. This ability earns him the title of “Maker”. Alvin must struggle to find his place in this world, all the while gathering followers and trying to stop the evil forces of the “unmaker”.

Having never read the novel, the concept of ‘Seventh Son’ seems like an interesting cross between X-Men and Lord of the Rings in old world America. If the filmmakers manage to toss in some steampunk elements, it will at least attract my attention.

It seems like, since the ending of both the ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Lord of the Ring’ series, movie production companies have been trying to find that magic franchise that will take their place. So far, most of the others have met with varying success but never attained the heights of those legendary series. If ‘Seventh Son’ is a hit, there are five books (so far) in Card’s ‘Tales of Alvin Maker’ series to mine.

Update (3/21/2012): Early reports that ‘Seventh Son’ were based on Card’s ‘Alvin Maker’ series are false. The film is instead based on Joseph Delaney’s young adult novel ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’. This story is still set in the 1700s but is about a young boy who is taken under the wing of a ‘Spook’, a man who hunts down ghosts, demons, and witches. Actually, now that I think about it, this sounds even cooler than X-Men in the 18th century.