EXCLUSIVE: Martin Sheen has joined the cast of Warren Beatty‘s untitled Howard Hughes project, the script of which is being kept tightly under wraps. Sheen and Beatty are old friends but this is the first time they’ve worked together. Sheen, who will next be seen opposite Rooney Mara in Stephen Daldry’s Trash, been on and off the set for director Beatty, who is also producing and plays Howard Hughes. The story centers Hughes’ assistant (played by Alden Ehrenreich) and his love interest (Lily Collins). The pic, known around town as the untitled Warren Beatty project, also includes Annette Bening and Matthew Broderick.
The project was funded by billionaires Ron Burkle, Steve Bing, Windsor Media’s Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and James Packer and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. It’s a $26.7M negative. Ratner and Beatty are producing with Packer exec producing.
Sheen, who audiences will remember as Uncle Ben in The Amazing Spider-Man, also completed the low-budget children’s film The Boxcar Children, based on the beloved book of the same name (actually, the first book I ever read as a child, written by Gertrude Chandler Warner). Daniel Chuba, who did the visual effects on Prometheus, directs, and it is produced by Mark Dippe, known for visual effects on Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park. The filmmakers just got word the film will screen at the Toronto Film Festival’s Kids International fest that takes place April 8-21. Sheen also has a recurring role on his son Charlie’s show, Anger Management. He is repped by ICM Partners.