EXCLUSIVE: Renée Zellweger, Louie Anderson and It‘s Owen Teague have been cast in the lead roles of Heft for director Max Nichols (Two Night Stand). Heft, based on the bestselling novel by Liz Moore of the same name, was adapted by the author. The Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Eric Robinson, who acquired the book in the fall of 2017, are producing.
Heft is about former academic Arthur Opp (Anderson) who hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, 17-year-old Kel Keller (Teague) navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career―if he can untangle himself from his family drama. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother Charlene, (Zellweger), a former student of Arthur’s. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene’s unexpected phone call to Arthur ― a plea for help ― that jostles them into action. Through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky and lovable voices, Heft is about two improbable heroes whose sudden connection transforms both their lives.
The Gotham Group’s most recent film, Kodachrome, starring Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis and Elizabeth Olsen, is currently enjoying a well-reviewed theatrical and Netflix release.
Currently in production on the Judy Garland biopic Judy for Pathe films, Zellweger will soon be seen in Blue Night with Sarah Jessica Parker (the film premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival). She has earned three Academy Award nominations for her acting — for Bridget Jones Diary, Chicago and won the Best Supporting Actress for Cold Mountain.
Anderson created and produced the animated Emmy Award–winning Fox series Life with Louie, based on his own childhood. He won an Emmy for his co-starring role as Christine Baskets on Zach Galifianakis’ Baskets on FX. His most recent stand-up special, Big Underwear taped at the Palace Theatre in Los Angeles.
Teague co-starred in New Line Cinema’s horror film It, which has become the highest grossing horror film of all time, racking up $700.38M at the worldwide box office. He will next be seen co-starring in 20th Century Fox’s The Empty Man. Outside of It, he is probably best known for the role of Danny Rayburn’s son Nolan in Netflix’s Bloodline. More recently, he co-starred in Orion Pictures coming-of-age drama Every Day, directed by Michael Sucsy and released on February 23, 2018.
Prior to, he starred in the Season 4 Arkangel episode of Black Mirror, which was directed by Jodie Foster. He recently wrapped Tucker Tooley Entertainment’s Mary opposite Gary Oldman as well as the the Andy Muschietti-directed pilot Locke & Key, and Inherit the Viper opposite Josh Hartnett and Bruce Dern.
Zellweger is repped by CAA and Carrabino Management; Anderson by Gersh, Ahmos Hassan at Chariot Management, and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, and Owen Teague by CAA, Brevard Talent Group, Management 360, and Myman, Greenspan. Moore is repped by Seth Fishman of The Gernert Company, while Nichols is repped by CAA and Mosaic.