Adam B. Vary
March 25, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

While director Bryan Singer won’t begin principal photography on Jack the Giant Killer — his take on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale — until March 28, he’s already started shooting motion capture of the giants, Avatar-style, with actors Bill Nighy and Stanley Tucci. ”I had not yet made a film with fully rendered CG characters, [using] performance and motion capture and 3-D,” he tells EW. ”I was excited to do that.” The 2012 film stars Nicholas Hoult as a farm boy who scales a huge beanstalk to rescue a princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) from giants. Ian McShane plays her father, the king. Hoult came to Singer’s attention while playing Beast in June’s X-Men: First Class, which Singer is producing with Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) directing. Vaughn landed the gig after a chance meeting with Singer at the chic L.A. club Soho House last spring. ”I gave him the broad strokes,” says Singer. ”He texted me the next morning, and I went over to his hotel and gave him the sober pitch.”

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