Melora Walters (Venom, Boogie Nights), Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite, upcoming Stuber comedy at Fox), and Gil Bellows (The Shawshank Redemption, Ally McBeal) are set as leads in Drowning, an indie film written and being directed by Walters. It’s based on Walters’ real-life account of the time her young son decided to join the Army and fight in Iraq. It’s A mother’s worst nightmare, compounded by the fact that he’s then stationed in Mosul for the ‘final battle’. Albert Chi, Rory Rooney, and Sergio Rizzuto are producers on the film and are aiming for a festival release. Executive producer is Steven Swadling.
Julie Ann Emery (Better Call Saul), Karsen Liotta (Shades of Blue, daughter of Ray Liotta), Kevin Corrigan (Pineapple Express), and James Paxton (Eyewitness, son of Bill Paxton) have been tapped to lead the ensemble cast of the indie comedy Teenage Badass, which is currently filming on location in Phoenix. First-timer Grant McCord is directing the film from a screenplay that he wrote. It’s set in 2006 and follows a band when they score a shot to play on the local news. But as all of their dreams start to become a reality, the band’s egocentric singer/songwriter threatens to make them lose everything. Mcabe Gregg, Madelyn Deutch, Dillon Lane, Elsie Hewitt, and Kane Ritchotte co-star. Jeff Dykhuizen and Anthony DiMaria are producing the pic for Common Wall Media, alongside McCord, with Chuckie Duff serving as executive producer. Corrigan is repped by Innovative Artists and Untitled; Emery by Innovative Artists; Paxton by UTA and Authentic Talent and Literary Management; Liotta by Gersh and Untitled.
Obba Babatunde (Dear White People), Ella Joyce (Set it Off), and Wesley Jonathan (The Soul Man) have joined indie drama Miss Havisham Effect, which stars Rochelle Aytes and Brian White. Directed by Leila Djansi, the Lawren Henderson-written screenplay deals with Aytes’ real-life account of the long-term damage caused by a drug addict father and the toll it takes on a family. Aytes, White, and Ryan Daly from Zero Gravity Management are producing the project. Lou Ariola, Jenny Alonzo, Dave Ross, and Taryn Sims serve as exec producers. Babatunde is repped by Stone Manners Salners; Joyce by Arthur Toretzky and Landmark Artists Management; Jonathan by Innovative Artists & Marsh Entertainment.