Although he attached to the film a year ago, Frank Langella now finally is firmed to star in the Charlie Kessler-directed Lapham Rising, an adaptation of the Roger Rosenblatt novel. The film was going to shoot last year in the Hamptons, but funding fell into disarray. Now it has come back together with funding from Winter State Entertainment, and production will start this summer in Minnesota.
Lapham Rising tells the story of Harry March, a retired writer whose life starts to unravel when a multimillionaire begins building a mansion across from his quiet island home in the Hamptons. Up until now, he has lived peacefully with his talking dog, Hector, a born-again Evangelical and unapologetic capitalist. To Harry, the gargantuan mansion represents the fetid and corrupt excess that has ruined modern civilization. Which means, quite simply, that this is war.
Langella will work in the film between seasons of Kidding, which he co-stars in opposite Jim Carrey and Catherine Keener for director Michel Gondry for Showtime. He took that season after the climax of The Americans.
Langella is exec producing Lapham Rising, on which Kessler is making his feature-directing debut. His short film Montauk won the Student Film Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival several years ago. Kerry Orent is producing with Kessler, Mike Sobiloff and Winter State Entertainment’s Hamid and Camille Torabpour, Dr. Mark Smith and Patrick Werksma.
Hamid Torabpour of Winter State Entertainment, who was instrumental in bringing the project to Minnesota, said: “This is a gem of a project, with a stellar cast. Charlie’s vision for Lapham Rising is something that personally resonated with me, and it’s an honor for us and our partners to be able to bring a production of this pedigree to Minnesota.”
Winter State is also partnered with Kessler and Orent on the biopic Rosa, which chronicles the first 24 hours of the arrest of iconic civil rights figure Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, after she refused to relinquish her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, AL. Kessler and Hamid Torabpour teamed to write that script, from a concept conceived by Kessler and inspired by the life and legacy of Rosa Parks.
ICM Partners is handling sales worldwide on Lapham Rising.