EXCLUSIVE: Husband and wife Ed Harris and Amy Madigan will star in School for the Blind, a $4.5 million budgeted indie that will be produced by Picturehouse, John Boccardo’s Blind Faith Productions and Neil Koenigsberg. Lou Howe is directing from his adaptation of Dennis McFarland’s critically acclaimed 1995 novel.
Harris and Madigan have previously starred together in several features including Gone Baby Gone, Places in the Heart, Alamo Bay, The Last Full Measure, The Rules Don’t Apply, Sweetwater, Riders of the Purple Saga to name a few including the Harris-directed Oscar winning Pollock. Harris earned an Oscar nom for playing artist Jackson Pollock and Madigan co-starred as Peggy Guggenheim. The two are also starring in Harris’ The Ploughman which he’s also directing and in pre-production on. Both Harris and Madigan have co-starred in theatre productions such as the world premiere of Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian in Los Angeles and New York; in the revival of Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer winner Buried Child in New York and London; and most recently, in the world premiere of David Rabe’s newest play Good for Otto in New York.
In School for the Blind, Harris and Madigan play siblings with a dark past riddled with unresolved family issues. Harris is a world-weary war correspondent who returns to the small town of his youth to reunite with his sister, a librarian at the local school for blind children. Together they confront these issues as they strive to solve the cold case murder of a blind student who disappeared years before.
“It will be wonderful to see the magic Amy and Ed will bring to School for the Blind,” Bob Berney, CEO of Picturehouse tells Deadline. “It’s a terrific gift for Lou to have these two actors portraying an estranged brother and sister in this exciting new drama.”
Come December, Harris will be seen co-starring in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter, which is winning rave reviews from its Venice and Telluride premieres. He is currently filming the fourth season of HBO’s Westworld in addition to prep on The Ploughmen, which also stars Robert Duvall. Madigan will next be seen in Scott Cooper’s thriller Antlers.
School for the Blind will be Howe’s second feature film. The Harvard and AFI graduate wrote and directed the well-received Gabriel, which earned its star Rory Culkin a Gotham Award nomination, as well as an Annenberg Fellowship from the Sundance Institute for Howe.
Koenigsberg, a founder of PMK PR and also a talent manager, was a producer on films A Walk on the Moon, American Heart, The Giver and Tab Hunter Confidential. He originally optioned the novel and brought it to the attention of Berney and Boccardo.
Boccardo produced the recent documentary The Fabulous Allan Carr and was executive producer of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?.
CAA Media Finance will arrange for the film’s financing and will rep the pic’s distribution rights.
Picturehouse is a Los Angeles based film marketing and distribution company led by CEO Bob Berney and COO Jeanne R. Berney. The company acquires, markets and distributes global content across all platforms. Originally formed in 2005 as a joint venture between Time Warner’s HBO Films and New Line Cinema, the Picturehouse brand has a long history of storied excellence.
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