EXCLUSIVE: Director Brandon Camp’s retelling of his father Joe Camp’s 1974 Benji movie has unveiled its cast including Kingdom and Purge: Anarchy actress Kiele Sanchez, Gabriel Bateman, Darby Camp, Will Rothhaar, Angus Sampson and Jerod Haynes. Pic, which is already in production in New Orleans, LA, also boasts renowned animal consultant Mark Forbes as head trainer whose work has been seen in such movies as We Bought a Zoo, Marley & Me and Dr. and Doctor Dolittle.

Also coming aboard to finance Benji are Meridian Entertainment, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Cohenkids, and Anton Corp. Blumhouse announced it was partnering with Brandon Camp back in May, which was also when the new Benji was introduced on NBC’s Today. Blumhouse is also financing.

Kiele Sanchez

Sanchez is repped by ICM, Impression Entertainment and Hirsh Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman.

Bateman starred recently in Warner Bros./New Line’s Lights Out and on CBS’ American Gothic and Cinemax’s Outcast. He’s a client of Hg5 Entertainment, Coast To Coast Talent Group and Ryan Nord. Camp’s credits include HBO series Big Little Lies and The Leftovers. She is repped by Paradigm. Rothhaar portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald in the National Geographic’s Emmy nominated TV movie Killing Kennedy. He is represented by Sanders Armstrong Caserta Management, Greene & Associates Talent Agency and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein. Sampson appeared in Blumhouse’s Insidious franchise and is on the new Hulu series Shut Eye. He is repped by Ellen Meyer Management and Felker Toczek Suddleson. Haynes was most recently seen in the Obama romance Southside With You, and he’s represented by WME and Sherry Marsh.

Gabriel Bateman
Irvin Rivera

Three year-old company Meridian led by Jennifer Dong has invested in such Chinese hits as Running Man and Mojin: The Lost Legend; as well as forthcoming English language titles such as Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s Prayer Before Dawn and Kitty Green’s Casting JonBenet. The company has a first look and strategic partnership with James Schamus through his Symbolic Exchange; Meridian also is partnered with FremantleMedia North America and oversees the film business of Random House Studios.

Image Nation’s latest feature The Worthy, directed by Ali Mostafa made its world premiere last week at the BFI London Film Festival. Its upcoming Tom Hanks-Emma Watson thriller The Circle opens on April 28 from EuropaCorp.