EXCLUSIVE: Arielle Holmes, who starred in this weekend’s specialty bow Heaven Knows What based on her memoirs of being homeless and a junkie living in Needle Park, has already found her next movie. We’re hearing she has joined Shia LaBeouf in the cast of American Honey, the coming-of-age pic that was written and will be directed by Brit helmer Andrea Arnold. The pic was announced ahead of the Cannes Film Festival.
Film4 is developing and co-financing the movie which recently began shooting in Oklahoma. It revolves around a runaway teenager selling magazine subscriptions and becomes caught up in partying, law-breaking and love. While Holmes will not play the lead, it’s not a too-difference similar premise from Heaven Knows What, which Radius-TWC platformed this weekend when it grossed just more than $15,000 from two theaters (one in LA and one in NYC).
But the story of Holmes’ discovery has its own movie-script potential. As Deadline’s Brian Brooks told you last week, filmmakers Joshua and Ben Safdie met Holmes in the diamond district in New York while doing research for another project. They were intrigued and eventually discovered she was a homeless 19-year-old with a heroin addiction and a mysteriously evil boyfriend. They commissioned her to write about her life, which she did using computers at various Apple stores throughout the city. That resulted in the soon-to-be-published memoir Mad Love In New York City and Heaven Knows What, in which Holmes plays a version of herself.
As for American Honey, Parts & Labor’s Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy; Thomas Benski and Lucas Ochoa from Pulse Films; and Pouya Shahbazian of Man Down Pictures are producers. Film4 co-finances with backing from BFI and Trudie Styler, Celine Rattray and Charlotte Ubben of Maven Pictures. Protagonist Pictures is selling. Holmes is repped by ICM Partners and Framework Entertainment.