Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.com
Jeff Labrecque
December 06, 2011 AT 06:21 PM EST

Oscar-winning actor William Hurt is in talks to join Andrew Niccol’s film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s sci-fi novel The Host, according to a source close to the production. Hurt would play the pivotal role of Jeb, eccentric uncle to Saoirse Ronan’s Melanie Stryder, whose brain is hijacked by the soul of an alien being known as Wanderer. Jeb is one of the grizzled leaders of the human survivalists fighting the alien invasion.

Max Irons will portray Jared Howe, and Jake Abel has been cast as Ian, the two men who help form a complicated Meyer-esque love triangle with Melanie.

Read more:

Max Irons to play Jared in ‘The Host’

Saoirse Ronan cast in film of Stephanie Meyer’s ‘The Host’

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