EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Bridges and Diane Lane are set to star in an untitled project from The Handmaid’s Tale and Meadowland director Reed Morano, written by The Kids Are All Right scribe Stuart Blumberg. The project (formerly known as First Chair) marks the first film developed by London-based international sales and film finance company Bankside Films, which is beginning to ramp up its activity in the production arena.
The story follows a regimented, self-obsessed virtuoso violinist (Bridges) who is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and forced to move back in with his estranged wife (Lane) as he begins treatment. As they attempt to learn how to live with each other again, he experiences a profound change in his behavior that compels him to learn to connect with the music and the people that surround him in astonishing and unexpected ways. The project is scheduled to shoot in Boston in October. Blumberg’s screenplay is based on an original screenplay from writer Jennifer Yee.
Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert will produce for EMJAG Productions along with David Schiff for MGMT Entertainment, Bankside’s Phil Hunt, and Compton Ross for Head Gear Films. Hilary Davis, Stephen Kelliher and Patrick Howson exec produce. CAA, WME and Bankside Films will co-rep domestic rights, with Bankside handling foreign sales. The project will be launched to buyers at Cannes next week.
Morano recently directed I Think We’re Alone Now starring Elle Fanning and Peter Dinklage as well as Meadowland with Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson. In addition to receiving rave reviews for her work as director and exec producer on The Handmaid’s Tale for Hulu, she’s also worked as a cinematographer on films including Frozen River and Beyonce: Lemonade.
Oscar winner Bridges will be seen this summer in The Only Living Boy in New York and this fall in Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Granite Mountain. Lane’s upcoming credits include Paris Can Wait, Felt and Justice League.
“The project has brought together some of Hollywood’s most exciting talent to tell an intensely moving story in a unique, refreshing and dynamic way,” said Kelliher. “We could not be more excited to be working with such a prestigious team and to be working with our co-producers EMJAG Produtcions to bring this very special story to the world.”
Bridges said: “The film has a lot going for it: a wonderful script by Stuart Blumberg, to be directed by Reed Morano who directed Meadowland, which I thought was a terrific film, and the opportunity to work with Diane Lane again — we worked together in Wild Bill — plus it involves music, which always warms my heart.”
Added Lane: “This is a wonderful story. I’m thrilled to have Reed behind the camera as our director and appreciate her keen eye and talent thanks to her previous work as a cinematographer.”
Morano is repped by WME. Bridges is repped by CAA and MGMT Entertainment. Lane is repped by UTA. Blumberg is repped by WME. Yee is repped by CAA.