EXCLUSIVE: Jack Huston is stepping into the role previously eyed by Benedict Cumberbatch in war drama The Yellow Birds opposite Tye Sheridan and another new cast member, Alden Ehrenreich. Jennifer Aniston also is joining the film directed by the project’s new director, Alexandre Moors. Based on the novel by Iraq War vet Kevin Powers, the film marks the second project to go before the cameras for Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon’s Cinelou Films.
It was first announced for sale at Cannes with Cumberbatch, Sheridan and Will Poulter starring and David Lowery directing. Lowery adapted the book with Powers for the screen.
Financed by Cinelou, the story follows two young soldiers who become friends in boot camp and the elder (the 21-year-old Ehrenreich) promises to take care of his buddy (Sheridan), but it becomes increasingly difficult in wartime. Huston plays Staff Sgt. Sterling. Aniston plays the younger boy’s mother.
Huston will head the project after stepping into the role made famous by Charlton Heston, portraying Judah Ben-Hur in the Ben-Hur remake for MGM and Paramount Pictures. He’s one heck of an actor and might be best known playing the hitman who was emotionally and physically disfigured by war in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
The London-born actor was set to play the old Brandon Lee role in the remake of The Crow for Ed Pressman and Relativity before the latter company went upside down financially. Relativity is currently in Chapter 11.
Canton and Solomon are producing with Story Mining’s CEO and president Jeffrey Sharpe and with Story Mining & Supply Company’s Jim Kohlberg executive producing.
Sheridan came onto the scene as a young kid in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and did a fantastic job in last year’s The Forger opposite John Travolta and Christopher Plummer. He just completed X-Men: Apocalypse. Ehrenreich appeared in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine before being cast in the untitled Howard Hughes project from Warren Beatty.
Huston is repped by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and Artists Partnerships. Aniston, who won raves for her performance in last year’s drama Cake, is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment as in Ehrenreich. Sheridan is repped by WME and Mosaic.