Hopper Penn and Boardwalk Empire alumnae Paz de la Huerta have been set to star in Puppy Love, a dramatic comedy written and to be directed by Michael Maxxis, a music video and commercials director making his feature film debut. Michael Madsen, Donald Cerrone, Rosanna Arquette and Colleen Camp are also aboard. David Michaels, George Parra and Nicolette Saina are producing, and Sam Osman is executive producing and financing via Film Alberta Studios. Principal photography is set to begin next week in Edmonton.

The pic is based on Maxxis’ actual cousin and follows a year in the life of Morgan Fairchild (Penn), who marches to the distant sound of his own offbeat drum and meets and falls in love with Carla (de la Huerta), who is homeless. The relationship grows and develops into something kind, endearing and beautiful even in their otherwise odd circumstances.

Singer Elle King, rapper Mickey Avalon and Wayne Newton also will appear, with Nirvana and Foo Fighters record producer Butch Vig producing the soundtrack. The film team also includes DP Larry Smith (Eyes Wide Shut) and a score by Kurt Vile.

Penn, whose recent credits include The Last Face (directed by his father Sean Penn) and the upcoming War Machine, is repped by ICM Partners. De la Huerta and Madsen are repped by TCA/Jed Root, Arquette by TalentWorks and Ellen Meyer Management, Cerrone by KHI Management, Camp by Gersh, King by Paradigm, by Avid Exposure, and Newton by ICM Partners.