EXCLUSIVE: Director Marc Webb is building a great cast for his Fox Searchlight drama Gifted. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and 9-year-old Mckenna Grace have joined Chris Evans in the film. The addition of Grace came after an extensive search.
Scripted by Tom Flynn, the drama tells the story of Frank Adler (Evans), a deliberate underachiever who is raising his niece Mary (Grace) in rural Florida. When he enrolls her in school for the first time, she is labeled as “gifted.” All Frank wants is for Mary to have a normal life, but standing in his way is her grandmother Evelyn and the dilemma that he doesn’t have custody of the child. He decides to take legal action.
Spencer plays Roberta Taylor, the outspoken landlord of Frank and a good friend to both him and Mary. In the vein of Kramer vs. Kramer, the child is one of the lead roles in this film.
In addition, Lindsay Duncan (Alice Through The Looking Glass, Birdman) is playing the role of Evelyn, described as Frank’s mother who is aristocratic and proper who took over the custody of Mary after her daughter committed suicide.
Producing Gifted is FilmNation’s Karen Lunder and Andy Cohen.
Spencer’s upcoming films include The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part 1, the anticipated faith-based drama The Shack, and The Great Gilly Hopkins. Grace most recently wrapped the 20th Century Fox feature Independence Day: Resurgence opposite Liam Hemsworth.
Spencer is represented by WME and Jackoway Tyerman. Grace is represented by Paradigm and Perlman Management Group. Duncan is repped by Paradigm and U.K.-based Dalzell and Beresford.