EXCLUSIVE: C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders), Annabeth Gish (The Haunting of Hill House) and Forrie J. Smith (Yellowstone) are set to play a small-town Texas family of bull riders in crime pic Ride.
Writer-actor Jake Allyn’s directorial debut, which was written by Josh Plasse and Allyn (No Man’s Land), has a North American theatrical and home entertainment distribution deal with Well Go USA.
Set amid amateur rodeo in Stephenville, Texas, a fading town known as the “Cowboy Capital,” the film takes a look at heartland America, the modern cowboy and eight-second miracles. Desperate to raise money for his daughter’s cancer treatment and met with a faceless hospital system that asks for insurance before medical records, former bull rider John Hawkins (Howell) must partner with his estranged son and rising bull rider Peter (Allyn) on a money heist. They get it done in cowboy fashion but are left murderers, with only the eldest retired bull rider in the family, Al (Smith), to turn to. But when John’s wife, Sheriff Monica Hawkins (Gish), takes on the case, John and Peter must dodge their own family, while Monica works a case that would send her husband to prison and her daughter home to die.
The film shoots in Tennessee in late January at locations including live rodeos, Nashville music venues and working ranches. Stride Management packaged the modern western, which is partnered with the Tennessee Entertainment Commission.
Pic is produced by Allyn brothers’ Margate House Films (No Man’s Land), Tacklebox Films (Boys of Fall) and Pine Bay Pictures (The Resurrection of Charles Manson). The project has hired documentary and country music cinematographer Keith Leman (Dear Rodeo).
Producers include Conor Allyn, Jake Allyn, Rob Allyn, Josh Plasse, Don Lepore and Keith Leman, alongside executive producers Doris Pfardrescher, Jason Pfardrescher, Tony Herbert, Steve Johnson, Nidal Kahl, Bobby McMichael, Shaun Silva, Matt Shelton and Nonda Orologas.
C. Thomas Howell, best known for The Outsiders and E.T, grew up bull-riding and will have original music featured in the film. He is also starring in the Netflix action-comedy series Obliterated. Annabeth Gish is coming off Netflix horror hits The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, while Forrie J. Smith currently stars in Paramount’s smash hit Yellowstone.
“Bull riding is the only sport that you always lose,” said writer-director Jake Allyn. “The bull always bucks you off eventually. It’s just a matter of how long you stay on, and how many times you get back up. The same is true in life, and that’s what this movie reflects.”
Thomas Howell is represented by Innovative Artists and MPE, Annabeth Gish is represented by Innovative and Thruline, and Forrie J. Smith is represented by The O’ Agency. Jake Allyn is represented by Stride Management
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.