Last Thursday, reports turned up online indicating that Steven Spielberg had cast actor Eddie Redmayne in the lead role in his screen adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's YA novelWar Horse. Not so fast, says Empire Online, who landed the exclusive on the film's full cast list. Lo and behold, there's no Eddie Redmayne listed at all.

Instead, the role of Albert -- the young man who heads to Europe to save his beloved horse, who's been taken for cavalry use during World War I -- will be played by Jeremy Irvine. Irvine's a relative newcomer who previously appeared on Life Bites, a British sketch comedy that airs on Disney UK.

Spielberg's surrounded his young and relatively inexperienced leading man with some formidable talent. Peter Mullan and Emily Watson will play Albert's parents, Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the part of a military man, and one of my favorite actors, David Thewlis, is also involved.

Empire's also reporting that Thor villain Tom Hiddleston and actor Stephen Graham are in negotiations to join the cast as well. Given the amount of talent on display here, it seems like Spielberg could be prepping to make something really special.
As others have pointed out, Morpurgo's novel -- and the Nick Stafford stageplay -- are perfectly suited to Spielberg's strengths as a filmmaker. We know he can do large scale action scenes during war and the juxtaposition of those scenes with more quiet and dramatic moments has me excited about this project.

How about you? Does the thought of Spielberg making a rite of passage film set during World War I intrigue you or are you more interested in the filmmaker's The Adventures of Tintin? Does the casting match up with how you envisioned characters from the book? Share your thoughts and feelings below.