EXCLUSIVE: Charlie Plummer has landed the lead role in Andrew Haigh’s Lean On Pete. Plummer will play Charley Thompson, the itinerant teen abandoned by his mother as a baby who loses his neglectful father to sepsis. Lean On Pete has long been a passion project for Haigh, who will direct and write the tale of lost Americana. The film is an adaptation of Willy Vlautin’s acclaimed novel about Charley as he embarks on a perilous journey in search of his long-lost aunt and a possible home, his only companion the stolen racehorse Lean on Pete. The Bureau’s Tristan Goligher is producing. Film4 is co-financing along with the British Film Institute.

Deadline reported last week that Steve Buscemi had boarded the project as Del.

Plummer most recently wrapped The Dinner opposite Richard Gere, Laura Linney, and Chloe Sevigny, and Behold My Heart opposite Marisa Tomei and Timothy Olyphant. He also received rave reviews for his performance in King Jack, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and won the Audience Award.

Haigh has emerged to become one of the UK’s most interesting filmmakers. His previous film 45 Years, about an aging couple — played by Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay — and their faltering relationship emerged as an awards-season dark horse last year with a best actress nomination for Rampling at the Academy Awards and a best British film nomination at the BAFTAs. The film also took home the best British/Irish film of the year at the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards along with Best Actor and Actress of the Year.

Haigh has also signed on to direct the Alexander McQueen biopic for producer Damian Jones and Pathe. Red hot playwright Chris Urch, whose latest play The Rolling Stone has just debuted in London to ecstatic reviews, is writing the project. That project will likely go after Haigh is done with Lean On Pete.

Plummer is repped by CAA, His attorney is Michael Mahan at Peikoff Mahan, his managers are Margot Menzel at Primary Wave and Kim Pedell at Zoom Talent.