EXCLUSIVE: Stephen Dorff (Old Henry), John McEnroe (Ocean’s Eight), Gina Gershon (Emily the Criminal) and Luka Sabbat (Grown-ish) have signed on to star alongside Vito Schnabel in the dark comedy The Trainer, which Tony Kaye (American History X) is directing from a script by Schnabel and Jeff Solomon.
The film, heading into production Tuesday after nearly a decade in development, is based on an original story by Schnabel. It unfolds over eight days of sleep-deprived chaos and follows Jack (Schnabel), a down-on-his-luck fitness expert living with his mother in Los Angeles, who takes a maniacal swing at fame and fortune, trying to realize his version of the American dream. Julia Fox, Steven Van Zandt and Taylour Paige are also set to star. Details with regard to the characters the new additions to the cast will be playing have not been disclosed.
Schnabel, Kaye and Jeremy Steckler (The Old Man and the Gun, Only the Brave) are producing, with George Paaswell (Night House, Jack Goes Boating) serving as executive producer.
Dorff recently appeared in Potsy Ponciroli’s Western Old Henry, and on Fox’s Deputy. He’s also previously been seen in films including I’ll Find You, Leatherface, The Iceman, Somewhere, Public Enemies, World Trade Center, Cold Creek Manor, Zoolander, Blade and I Shot Andy Warhol. Additional TV credits include True Detective and Star.
McEnroe, the former pro tennis player, currently narrates Netflix’s coming-of-age comedy series Never Have I Ever. He’s previously appeared in films including Ocean’s Eight, Freak Show, Jack and Jill, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Wimbledon, Anger Management and Mr. Deeds, and on such series as Kenan, 30 Rock and Curb Your Enthusiasm. During his career in tennis, he established himself as the only male player to win upwards of 70 titles across singles and doubles competitions.
Gershon will soon be seen in the thriller Emily the Criminal from Roadside Attractions and Vertical Entertainment, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. She’s also appeared in such films as Rifkin’s Festival, Cagefighter, American Dresser, The Little Mermaid, Blockers, 9/11, Staten Island Summer, Killer Joe, P.S. I Love You, Slackers, The Insider, Guinevere, Palmetto, Face/Off, Showgirls, The Player, Cocktail and Pretty in Pink. Her TV credits include New Amsterdam, Betty, Riverdale, Red Oaks, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Z Nation, Elementary and Rescue Me. Other upcoming films in which Gershon is set to appear include Aleta Chappelle’s romance Love Extreme, Dylan K. Narang’s comedy Tapawingo and Eli Roth’s adaptation of the video game Borderlands.
Sabbat is best known for portraying Luca Hall on Freeform’s Grown-ish. Additional credits include Lena Dunham’s Sundance 2022 feature Sharp Stick and Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die.
Dorff is represented by ICM Partners and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; McEnroe by IMG and International Artists; Gershon by Artists First and Schreck Rose Dapello; and Sabbat by CAA and attorney Marios Rush.
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