Breaking Bad alum Jonathan Banks and Rob Morgan have rounded out the cast of Mudbound, joining Garrett Hedlund, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell and Mary J. Blige in the Dee Rees-directed period drama based on the Hillary Jordan novel. Virgil Williams penned the adaptation, Macro and Zeal Media are producing and shooting is underway in New Orleans. The story is set in the wake of World War II, where the fates of two very different families collide while struggling to make their dreams come true in the Mississippi Delta. When two celebrated soldiers return home, their unlikely friendship complicates the already fraught relationship between the families. Good Universe is handling international sales. Cassian Elwes, Chris Lemole, Tim Zajaros, Charles D. King, Kim Roth, Sally Jo Effenson and Carl Effenson are producing. Poppy Hanks, Teddy Schwarzman, Daniel Steinman, Kyle Tekiela and Jennifer Roth will executive produce.
XLrator Media and IndustryWorks Studios, which just made horror pic American Mary together, have inked a deal to make three action thrillers they will co-produce and distribute worldwide. XLrator will handle domestic via its Turbo action label, and IndustryWorks Studios will release in Canada and sell international rights. The first film in the new slate is Rusty Nixon’s supernatural thriller Residue starring Costas Mandylor and Taylor Hickson which is eyeing a 2017 release. The other films are Playtime from director Michael Bafaro and Fuse.
Melissa McCarthy has been set to topline Can You Ever Forgive Me?, a Fox Searchlight film about writer-turned-forger Lee Israel based on her memoir. Marielle Heller is directing from Nicole Holofcener’s script. Israel was a magazine writer and author in the 1970s and ’80s who specialized in profiles of big-name entertainment figures. But when the work dried up, she turned to selling letters she had forged from dead writers and actors, and eventually she began stealing actual letters from various archives before she was arrested in 1993. She died in 2004.