Alexander "Alex" Rider is a fictional character. He is the protagonist and title character of the popular Alex Rider series of novels by British author Anthony Horowitz. He is also the protagonist of two short stories written by Horowitz based in the same canon as the series, Secret Weapon and Christmas at Gunpoint.
Alex is a young agent for MI6, the British international intelligence service. At no more than fourteen years of age, Alex was forced into this occupation after MI6 noticed Alex's many talents. He has not only worked for MI6 but also the CIA, Scorpia and, in Snakehead, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.
When Alex was a baby, his mother and father were killed in an airplane crash due to a bomb on the plane which he later found out that his godfather, Ash, was responsible for. Fortunately, Alex was not on the airplane; he had an ear infection and stayed behind with a nanny. Alex's paternal uncle, Ian Rider, raised Alex after his parents died.
Ian and Alex had a very good relationship. They were very close, and when Ian was home they did practically everything together. Ian often took Alex around the world to educate him about other cultures. Alex has lived abroad, once spending the best part of a year living in Barcelona, Spain, and he has also stayed in the Marais district of Paris, France. Ian Rider was later murdered by Yassen Gregorovich, an assassin, and it was revealed to Alex that his uncle and father were spies, and that he was trained his entire life to become spy himself.
Because Alex's parents and uncle died, his former housekeeper/babysitter (now his new guardian), Jack Starbright, takes care of him. As of Snakehead, Alex lives in Chelsea, London, with Jack Starbright. He attends Brookland Comprehensive School and is now in year 10.
Alex has some friends at school, one of which is named Tom Harris. Tom finds out about Alex's spy life and is very supportive of Alex and covers for Alex whenever he needs it.
Alex has been raised in a somewhat different environment than most other boys his age and as a result, he tends not to relate much to his peers. Because of this, he does not have many friends at his school, apart from Tom Harris. But Alex does not mind as much, since he is hardly in school.
Before Alex was forced to join MI6, he wanted to be a professional soccer player, but now is unsure of what he wants to do when he finishes school. He still does not express any interest whatsoever in following his father and uncle's footsteps in becoming a full-time MI6 agent.
Alex is skilled in many activities, including extreme sports - martial arts (Alex is a black belt in karate), scuba diving, abseiling, mountain climbing, rifle shooting and snowboarding. He also plays tennis, football and basketball, and is on the Brookland School football team.
While on a trip to Prague in the Czech Republic, Alex learned the "art" of pickpocketing from his uncle. He puts this skill to use when he needs a V.I.P.'s to a conference to investigate Damian Cray, though he feels remorse about it.
Alex is also skilled in snooker, and represents the junior team at his local snooker club.
Alex's athletic talents greatly assist him during his missions many times: for example, in Stormbreaker, he rides a four-wheeler to elude guards; in Point Blanc he snowboards down a mountain on an ironing board to escape Point Blanc Academy, in Skeleton Key he Scuba dives into Skeleton Key, in Scorpia he BASE jumps into a factory, in Ark Angel he walks between two skyscrapers on a tightrope and in Snakehead, he kayaks down a river on a makeshift kayak.
As the series progresses, Alex becomes remarkably more skilled at spying, to the point that he sometimes investigates and pursues some enemies by himself while not on an MI6 mission.
Alex Rider is described as a strikingly good-looking 14-year-old boy, with fair hair, and a handsome, slender face that "would attract plenty of girls". He has serious dark-brown eyes and a slightly hard, narrow mouth. Alex is well-built and slim, and has a tan. He is also mentioned to have a birthmark on his left shoulder. He is also very fit, being described as having "the body of an athlete. Alex is 5' 7" tall and weighs 10 stone. Alex sometimes wears casual clothing (such as jeans, T-shirts), but mostly wears sportier clothing (tracksuit and 'pants'/briefs as well as a speedo) to go with the fact he is good at sport, and he often wears a wooden bead necklace. In the latest novel, it is revealed that he wears boxers.
Towards the later novels, even though he stays fourteen, Alex is described as looking older - this being due to the stress, emotional and physical, he endures because of his missions, as well as going through puberty.
Alex has become quite independent in his character as a result of having no parents. He is quick-witted and good at assessing dangers ahead of him, especially on his missions, and he has very strong intuition. Alex has a good-hearted personality, and even maintains this after the effects of his MI6 life. He is a particularly mature boy; he can often handle difficult situations with care and intensity like that of an adult. He is generally polite and well-spoken. He also has a good sense of humour, with a tendency to make jokes during difficult situations (for instance, when tightroping, he mutters "nice night for a walk." check Ark Angel), and also to mock the flaws and physical appearance of his enemies and their actions (for instance, when Major Winston Yu tells him of his Osteoperosis, he says "You must be all broken up about that."). He also makes a variety of "Bond puns", for instance, after killing Dr. Grief in Point Blanc with a snowmobile ("Looks like I 'sleighed' him.")
The person Alex has had the most time with is Jack Starbright, his uncle Ian always having been away on missions for MI6. Alex met Jack when she came from America under employment of his uncle as a housekeeper and babysitter for Alex, who was seven years old at the time. She has known Alex for seven years. After Ian died, Jack became Alex's guardian. Jack is Alex's closest friend, and even though it was originally her job to care for Alex, they have grown attached and their relationship has become very personal. However, as Alex's MI6 life starts to take a toll on him, it also places somewhat of a strain on their relationship - Jack is always very worried and upset that Alex's life is constantly being put in danger.
Alex met Sabina at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and they quickly became good friends. Sabina soon became suspicious when Alex had to leave the Championships early, and more so when Sabina saved Alex's life, and Alex then disappears on a mission for several weeks. Alex's constant disappearances place a real difficulty on their relationship, and when Sabina finally finds out the truth about Alex, things turn out differently for them. Sabina soon leaves Britain to live in America, although she does send him a card when Alex is later in the hospital. Sabina shows some romantic feelings for Alex, as she has kissed him twice, and expresses her feelings to Alex that he is attractive. She shows up at the end of Snakehead to have dinner with him.
Alex first met Mrs. Jones when she briefed him for his first mission. Mrs. Jones is very sympathetic to Alex, and offers reassurance when Alex is uneasy about what is required to do for his missions. Mrs. Jones shows great concern for Alex's situation - often protesting that he is not be used again, but all the while admitting that he is useful to MI6. She shows signs of great attachment to Alex, of an almost motherly kind. Mrs. Jones also has hinted that she has had children (at least two) and that they were taken from her, which could contribute to why she has so much sympathy for Alex. At the end of Scorpia we learn her first name is Tulip since her parents were keen gardeners!
Alex first met the Russian contract killer who killed his uncle on Herod Sayle's ground during his mission in Stormbreaker. Though Alex originally vows to kill the man, Yassen becomes somewhat of an ally to Alex in Eagle Strike when he sacrifices his life to save Alex and Sabina. It is in this scene that Yassen says to Alex, "In a way, I loved him [John Rider]. I love you too, Alex. You are so very much like him. I'm glad that you're here with me now." (For more information see: Eagle Strike.)
Alex is able to go to his uncle's office where he works, and is deeply shocked by what he finds out: Ian Rider was not a banker, as Jack (Alex's nanny) and Alex originally believed. He was an agent for MI6, and was killed on his last mission. By encouraging Alex's hobbies, Ian had trained Alex his whole life to be his successor.
Alex does not want to be an agent for MI6: in fact, when he is approached by them and asked to become a spy, initially he flatly refuses. But he is told that his legal guardian Jack Starbright will be deported and Alex sent to an institution if he does not cooperate. Alex does not want this for Jack or himself, so he reluctantly agrees. He is sent to a training camp for the SAS to prepare for his first mission.
After Alex finishes training with the SAS, he is sent to Cornwall in South England to investigate a Middle Eastern multi billionaire, Herod Sayle. Alex poses undercover as Felix Lester, the winner of a computer magazine contest. As Alex investigates, he gradually discovers more about his uncle's final mission.
Alex's cover is blown, and Sayle, now aware of what Alex is doing, keeps Alex tied down in his office - rendering him helpless to thwart Sayle's plans to kill the children of Britain with a modified smallpox virus. Nadia Vole, Sayle's assistant lies to Alex and says she is working for MI6 and is also spying on Sayle. She unties Alex and takes him upstairs. When Alex stands on a rug she quickly pulls a statue's arm, revealing a trapdoor and sending Alex plunging down a corkscrew tunnel, which spits him out into freezing cold water. Alex realizes he has been tricked and finds himself in a huge fish tank. Alex then realizes he has been put in the same tank as Sayle's Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish, but Alex escapes with a special acid disguised as pimple cream. The tank explodes just as the jellyfish's tentacles are about to touch Alex and Vole is caught in the blast of water and fatally stung by the jellyfish. As soon as Alex escapes, he returns to London and manages to stop the virus from being released.
Sayle attempts to take revenge on Alex after the mission. As Alex is walking out of MI6 headquarters, he is kidnapped by Sayle and taken to a helipad, where Sayle tries to shoot him, but Yassen Gregorovich arrives and shoots Sayle, saving Alex's life. Alex then swears that he'll kill him for killing his uncle. Yassen says that killing is for adults, and not for Alex.French Alps to Point Blanc Academy, a proclaimed school for misbehaving wealthy boys, to investigate the headteacher of the school, Dr. Hugo Grief. Alex goes undercover as Alex Friend, the rebellious son of Sir David Friend.
Alex while dining in a hotel on the way to Point Blanc, Alex realizes he has been drugged just before he collapses onto his bed in a deep sleep. After Alex collapses, he is transported to a laboratory where doctors strip him of his clothing and examine every inch of him, with the intention of replacing him with a clone. When Alex wakes up, he remembers nothing, and assumes he has had a normal night of sleep.
When Alex arrives at Point Blanc Academy, he decides to start investigating the second and third floorsof the institution, which are restricted to all students. Once Alex gets to the second floor, he discovers that it is identical to the ground floor. When Grief finds out that Alex is investigating him, he reveals his plan to replace the Point Blanc students with clones of himself (his "children"), surgically altered to look like them, so he can control the world's major businessmen. Since Alex is a spy, he arranges for Alex to be dissected alive in a biology class. Alex manages to escape his prison cell using an exploding earring, and then proceeds to make a snowboard out of an ironing board and uses it to slide down the steep mountain from Point Blanc, while Grief's security guards pursue him. While leaping over a speeding train, he crashes and is hospitalised. Dr. Grief's assistant, Eva Stellenbosch, is then falsely told that he has died. As a matter of fact, Alex wasn't badly injured, and after he has recovered, MI6 sends him back to Point Blanc Academy to take Grief by surprise.
After the success of this mission, Alex returns home, but his relief is short-lived. He finds out that Grief and his staff managed to surgically alter the last Grief clone to look like Alex after he had been drugged at the hotel - the clone is completely identical to Alex, apart from his voice. The two Alexes have a showdown in Alex's school, and one is killed in a chemical explosion. It is not explicitly revealed if it was the clone or the real Alex that died, but it is eventually revealed to be the real Alex.ballboy. It is here that he meets Sabina Pleasure, his recurring love interest in the series.
A "Big Circle" (Chinese gang) assassin finds out Alex is investigating the games, and unsuccessfully attempts to kill him. Alex is almost killed again by another assassin later when he is on a surfing holiday with Sabina in Cornwall. It happens when Alex rides the "Cribber" wave on Fistral Beach, despite the fact that he is too young, when the assassin attempts to run him over with a jet ski. Though he escapes the gang member, he cannot escape the relentless tide of the "Cribber" wave. Alex gets trapped in the tide and drowns. Sabina, having noticed Alex fall in the water, searches for him, eventually finding him. After dragging his body ashore, Sabina attempts to resuscitate him with mouth-to-mouth. When Alex still does not breathe, she performs CPR on him and he finally comes to.
To escape the Big Circle, Alex is forced to leave Britain temporarily by MI6. The CIA approaches Alex with a mission for him, and he is forced to accept. The CIA sends him to Skeleton Key, an island near Cuba, to investigate General Alexei Sarov, a wealthy but suspicious man who lives there. Alex goes undercover as Alex Gardiner, an American boy supposedly visiting on holiday. Two CIA agents(Tom Turner/Glen Carver & Belinda Troy accompany him, undercover as his "parents", though both are soon killed by an underwater trap they were investigating that was set by Sarov. Alex becomes suspicious and dives into the water to try to find them, unaware that they are dead. While looking for them, a Great White Shark attacks him and nearly kills him. Before it can kill him, the shark dies when it falls in to the same trap that killed the two agents.
Alex is then captured by Conrad, Sarov's deformed assistant. He is brought to an old sugar factory, placed on a conveyor belt, and is forced to tell Conrad that he is a spy, as well as why he is spying - while the conveyor belt is gradually moving him towards a deadly, grinding crusher. However, just before he is about to be crushed, Sarov unexpectedly comes to his rescue, saying he wants to get to know Alex better before he dies.
Alex becomes a prisoner in Skeleton Key, kept against his will by Sarov. Alex knows he must find a way to escape before Sarov puts his threatening plan to action. Sarov also develops twisted, sentimental feelings for Alex. He tells Alex he wants to adopt him, as Alex reminds him of his deceased son. When Alex refuses, claiming he would rather be dead than have the terrorist Sarov as a father, he shoots himself in front of Alex. Alex is taken to a hospital in Moscow by Russian police and eventually back to England.
Alex is affected deeply by the events of this mission. He suffers such depression that even Jack Starbright, his closest friend, can not console him - she attempts to get him to see a doctor, and he refuses. Her attempts to uplift him are not successful, and Alex begins to realise that his life will never be normal. But Alex soon encounters Sabina Pleasure again, who invites him on holiday to France, which considerably improves Alex's condition.France, when he sees Yassen Gregorovich, the assassin who killed his uncle. This makes Alex very wary and no longer able to enjoy the holiday. Soon Sabina's holiday home is destroyed by a bomb, injuring Sabina's father. Alex is sure Yassen was involved, so he decides to investigate.
When Yassen finds out Alex was spying, he tests Alex's skills by forcing him into a bullfight, saying if he lives the fight then he can leave alive, but if he tries to leave the arena, then he will be shot. Alex is forced to wear a matador costume and try to fend off the bullduring a public bull fight. Alex eventually succeeds, and manages to escape Yassen and his accomplices with only minor injuries, before being safely returned to England.
During this, Alex finds out that Yassen's mobile phone has the number of Damian Cray, a singer and anti-drugs campaigner. He suspects Damian Cray was also involved in the holiday house incident.
When Alex attempts to tell Sabina this, he is also forced to tell her he is an MI6 agent, as he would have no other way of explaining his sudden disappearances, as well as why he knows so much about the incident. But problems arise when Sabina does not believe him. Alex attempts to prove it to her by actually taking her to the MI6 building - but it appears to only be a regular bank. MI6 deliberately did this to keep Alex from revealing the truth to Sabina. The results of this are disastrous for Alex, as Sabina abandons him, claiming that he is an attention-seeker and needs help.
Alex is determined to gather evidence against Cray. Accompanied by Jack Starbright, he travels from France to the Netherlands investigating Cray.
Alex steals a ticket to a conference Cray is attending, where Cray introduces his new game console, the Gameslayer. Alex is the only teenager in the conference, so he is ushered onto the stage and made to play the Gameslayer. When Alex is about to beat the game, Cray cheats him into a loss by pulling his arm away.
Alex continues to investigate Cray when Alex is suddenly captured by Cray, after he found out what Alex was doing. Alex is then captured and forced to endure a real-life replica of Cray's video game,the Gameslayer. Alex escapes booby traps such as electric shocks and daggers flying out of the wall during this replica video game. When Alex gets to a section of the game with jungle, he is able to kill a snake. When he arrives to a mirror maze in the game, he pours the snake's blood on himself and puts some in his mouth to be able to pretend he has been killed by an arrow and steals a flash drive vital to Cray's plan called 'Eagle Strike'. Alex is then able to escape Cray's laboratory.
When Cray realizes that Alex has tricked him and stole his flash drive, he kidnaps Sabina Pleasure while she was visiting her dad in hospital. Alex then goes to Cray's mansion to try to rescue Sabina. Alex then reveals the flash drive, and Cray reveals a bound and gagged Sabina. Alex reveals that, if Cray doesn't give him the flash drive, he will destroy it. But Cray out manoeuvers him and threatens to chop Sabina's fingers off with a pair of scissors, Alex reluctently agrees to give him the flash drive. Cray then reveals, in detail, his 'Eagle Strike' plan, which is to have a several nuclear missiles launched at all the major drug-producing countries.
Alex and Sabina are then taken hostage on Air Force One, the stolen American presidential plane, as Cray's stolen American missiles can take off from there. When they get on the plane, Cray orders Yassen Gregorovich to shoot Alex and Sabina, but Yassen says he "does not kill children". Cray then shoots Yassen and then proceeds to shoot Alex. Sabina then attacks Cray, but Cray overpowers her and throws her at the wall. He is about to shoot Sabina when an uninjured Alex saves her and reveals he is wearing a bulletproof jacket. Alex then pushes Cray on to a cart in the plane and throws him out the door. Cray is then sucked in to the engine and crushed into microscopic pieces, making a cloud of red/pink gas. But when the cart goes through the engine, it sets the plane on fire. The plane then crashes and falls on to one side on the ground. Alex and Sabina are then thrown to the floor. Just before he is about to die, Yassen tells Alex he and his father worked together and that Alex's father was a contract killer. Alex then passes out. While Alex was talking to Yassen, Sabina went into the launch room and saved half the world by disabling Cray's missile launch.
After Sabina disabled the launch the mission was completed. She told him that she and her parents have to go to live in San Francisco. Alex might not see her again but hope to see her again. The two share a passionate kiss and go their separate ways.Venice to find "Scorpia" so he can find his "destiny". He has also found out that Yassen once worked with Alex's father. Alex is confused and unhappy about this, as he does not know what Scorpia is, or what it has to do with him.
Meanwhile, Jack Starbright has expressed worry over Alex's schooling - concerned about Alex's progress due to the constant interruptions of his missions, Jack hires a tutor for a reluctant Alex. This really annoys Alex, as he has to work very hard in order to catch up.
Alex travels on a school trip to Venice, Italy all the while hoping to find Scorpia. His friend, Tom Harris, also on the trip, covers for him when Alex infiltrates the Widows Palace, a place Alex believes to be the base of Scorpia. When Alex eventually finds Scorpia, he discovers it is an organization his father worked for, and joins them without telling MI6. Alex does this because he wants revenge against MI6 for all of the things they put him through. His first mission is to kill Mrs Jones, the head deputy of Special Operations.
While temporarily working for Scorpia, Alex goes undercover as a pizza delivery boy while infiltrating Mrs Jones's apartment. He does not succeed, and realising that Scorpia are attempting to use him against MI6, Alex goes back to MI6 and does a mission to investigate Scorpia for them. The mission concerns Scorpia's latest operation Invisible Sword, a massive scheme aiming to kill millions of children as a result of contaminated injections. This mission, involving members of the SAS, almost kills Alex but eventually Invisible Sword is defeated.
Upon his return from the mission, Alex finds out that his father was not an assassin; he worked for MI6 undercover as an assassin, and that it was Scorpia that killed Alex's parents.
As he is walking out of MI6's building, he is shot in the chest by a Scorpia assassin. In a near-death experience, he sees his parents walking towards him. His mother touches the hole in his chest and he loses consciousness.
In spite of having been severely wounded in the last installment, Alex manages to survive when the bullet, aimed at his heart, missed it by centimetres and hit his upper lung structures instead, explaining why Alex could not breathe. He was rushed to St. Dominics hospital to get surgery for his damaged artery and awaits his return home after eleven days. But on his final night in hospital, he is forced into action once again when four sinister men forcefully enter the hospital asking for Paul Drevin, and Alex witnesses them murder the night receptionist, who was Alex's friend.
Alex defeats the men single-handedly using a range of hospital equipment, but he is finally overpowered when he is knocked out and kidnapped. The kidnappers think he is Paul Drevin, and are about to cut off Alex's finger with a very sharp knife when Alex manages to convince them that he is not Paul Drevin. After that they lock him in a burning building with no means of escape. But, of course, he manages to tight-rope walk a banner and so, still alive he goes back to hospital.
At home, Jack reveals to Alex her doubts as to whether she is able to continue looking after him, as he is always getting into difficult situations and she feels useless. As always, Alex reassures her otherwise. Suddenly, Nikolei Drevin, Paul's father, calls and asks Alex to join him for lunch. Alex agrees, but it would be a decision he would regret.
Alex is forced by Drevin to go on a two-week holiday with Paul and Alex discovers that Drevin is not all that he seems to be. Drevin builds a "Space Hotel" in space and calls it "Ark Angel". But Ark Angel is in debt, and the CIA is investigating Drevin. They have enough evidence that could get him in jail. Drevin and his crew send a rocket, with a secret bomb inside to destroy Ark Angel. The pieces from Ark Angel was meant to hit Washington, because the evidence is held there, and kill thousands.
Alex knows that Jack is in Washington visiting her parents and does not want her killed. He gets back up from the CIA after they hold detain him because they replaced his passport and they send Alex into space to deactivate the bomb to Ark Angel from hitting Washington because they couldn't hit the self-destruct button. Drevin had been killed in a plane crash as a result of Alex's actions and he was the only one who new the self destruct codes.
Alex boards the Ark Angel and successfully moves the bomb to a place where the Ark Angel will explode harmlessly. However on the way Alex has an encounter with Kaspar since he was also sent up there to make sure the bomb was in the right place. They both battle it out on Ark Angel, Kaspar ends up falling back onto his knife killing him instantly.
Alex then makes it back to the escape pod and is distached from Ark Angel seconds from the bomb going off.
Alex's pod misses the landing zone and he ends up a hundred miles off the coast of Australia.Australia's eastern coast, he is rescued and sent to Perth to recover and receive a debriefing. While there, he is taken under the care of a group of Australian soldiers, and accidentally enters a mine field, but manages to escape.
Jack Starbright travels from Washington D.C. to Perth to see if Alex is okay. They go to Sydney to spend time together to relax, until suddenly Alex is called to a mission once again, this time by the ASIS (Australian Secret Intelligence Service). A blind man named Ethan Brooke, who works for the ASIS, asks Alex to consider doing a mission for them. Both Alex and Jack refuse, having simply had enough of the intelligence business.
Alex learns that he has a godfather, named Ash - he was Alex's father's best friend, and even knew Alex when he was younger, though Alex does not remember him. Jack remembers him, telling Alex that she met him a few times while he came to London to check on a young Alex, and was also Alex's uncle Ian's friend. Alex realises that practically his entire family has been involved in the secret intelligence service; he wonders whether he was always meant to serve in intelligence too. Alex ultimately agrees to the job, believing that having the opportunity to work alongside his godfather would help him learn more about his past and where he came from.
Alex is told about his godfather by the ASIS because they plan to team Alex up with him on a mission in Bangkok, disguised as an Afghan refugee who is being smuggled to Australia by the Snakeheads - a gang involved in the illegal obtaining of money from various sources, including drugs. Alex poses as Abdul Hassan, and travels to Jakarta, Indonesia with Ash, who poses as his father. But while travelling with refugees, Alex gets separated from Ash.
Alex is caught by Major Winston Yu, a man involved in the Snakehead business who also works for Scorpia. He finds out about Alex and his mission.
Yu makes Alex have dinner with him, and tells him about how he plans to kill eight significant people by detonating a bomb in the sea, causing a tsunami to make it look like an accident, but killing thousands of people in the process. He also tells Alex that, because of the money he owes to both him and Scorpia for ruining their business, he is going to be forced to go to a hospital and be used as a transplant donor for money. Alex is grabbed by Yu's guards and sent to the hospital straight after the dinner.
While in the hospital, for the first time Alex really begins to despair, thinking that this may be the time that he cannot escape, as the hospital is guarded not only by artificial means, but natural means - there is a dangerous forest and river surrounding the hospital, as well as a dangerous bulldog. Alex especially becomes despairing when he realises, on his third day at the hospital, that his eyes are due to be transplanted the next day. But Alex sets the hospital on fire and make his escape, but while leaving through the rapids outside the hospital, Alex is caught up in a waterfall and ends up temporarily stranded, but manages to call MI6 for help.
MI6 eventually manage to apprehend Yu, and he dies as a result of his own tsunami.
Alex goes home to reunite once again with Jack, but he notices that she is keeping something from him. Alex is then given a surprise visit by Sabina Pleasure, who is back in London to spend Christmas with Alex.
Anthony Horowitz, who was the scriptwriter for the film as well as the author of the novels, recommended Pettyfer to play Alex Rider after seeing him in Tom Brown's Schooldays. Horowitz gave Pettyfer intense guidance on becoming the character of Alex Rider, expressing him and bringing his athletic talents, intellect and charm to the screen.
The role of Alex Rider was said to be the most physically demanding ever taken by a child actor. Pettyfer undertook martial arts training with Hong Kong martial arts choreographer Donnie Yen, as well as horseback riding. Pettyfer did most of his own stunts in the film, and underwent major physical preparation for the role.
Pettyfer was fifteen years old at the time of the film's shooting, just one year older than his character.