EXCLUSIVE: Aunjanue Ellis (The Help) and Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty) are joining Emmy-winning actress Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) and Matthew Modine in the independent production of Miss Virginia. Also, Australian actor Christopher Egan, known for his work in Letters to Juliet and Resident Evil, has joined Hanna Griffiths (Macbeth, Underbelly Rush) in the new Warren Zide and James Wallace-produced romantic drama Brookers.

First, for Miss Virginia: Niles Fitch, Nadji Jeter, Amirah Vann and Michael Beasley also round out the cast in the film which is being directed by R.J. Daniel Hanna (Shelter) and produced by Erin O’Connor, Rob Pfaltzgraff, and Maurice Black of the Moving Picture Institute, Stacey Parks of Media Sparks Films and M. Elizabeth Hughes. Miss Virginia is set to commence production later this month in Los Angeles.

Inspired by a true story, Miss Virginia follows a struggling inner-city single mother who moves her at-risk son from his dangerous neighborhood school to a safe — but expensive — one. Sacrificing everything but still unable to make the tuition payment, she launches a movement that could save her son’s future and that of many other children in the community.

Ellis is known for her roles in feature films The Help, Ray as well as Men of Honor and Undercover Brother. She will next be seen in If Beale Street Could Talk from Annapurna Pictures, directed by Barry Jenkins. Williams is best known for her roles in the ABC TV hit Ugly Betty, and feature films Erasure and Shaft. She will next be seen in the TV film False Profits with Shelley Hennig and Bellamy Young from ABC Studios.

Ellis is repped by ICM Partners and TMT Entertainment Group; Williams is repped by UTA and GEF

Kathy Luu, Paul Smith

Now for Brokers: Australian actor Christopher Egan, known for his work in Letters to Juliet and Resident Evil, has joined Hanna Griffiths (Macbeth, Underbelly Rush) in the new Warren Zide and James Wallace-produced romantic drama Brokers.

Set in 1994 Sydney, Australia and New York, the film is based on a true story, written by Wallace, about the rise and fall of Kingsley Walker (Christopher Egan), the currency trading prodigy from Sydney. Walker, who was determined to prove himself in the big leagues, accepts an opportunity to move to Manhattan to run the largest currency trade ever for a reclusive American billionaire nicknamed “The Whale”.

With constant temptation from his extravagant brokers, a love triangle which takes him well out of his comfort zone and a fierce battle of wits with his arch nemesis, Kingsley has everything on the line: his job, his relationship, his values and his sanity.

Other cast members attached to the project include AFI Award Winner Gyton Grantley (The Dressmaker). Principal photography begins August 2018, with distribution into China, India and Australia already secured.

Egan is repped by Anonymous Content and UTA. Griffiths is repped by Bohemia Group and Maverick Artists Agency.