EXCLUSIVE: Walden Media has has set a May 23 start in Pittsburgh on Still I Rise, the working title of a drama that will star Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis. Daniel Barnz, who most recently directed Beastly, will helm the film. Barnz recently rewrote the Brin Hill screenplay. Mark Johnson is producing through his Gran Via Productions banner. The film will be distributed domestically by 20th Century Fox.
The drama is about two mothers who channel frustration into action and join forces to transform an inner-city public school. Inspired by current events, the film takes aim at the crisis of public education in America. Walden’s Michael Bostick and Morgan Palmer are overseeing the project. Gyllenhaal just completed the Tanya Wexler-directed Hysteria. Davis, who won the Tony last year for Fences, just wrapped the DreamWorks adaptation of the Kathryn Stockett novel The Help and is shooting the Stephen Daldry-directed Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Barnz is repped by WME, Gyllenhaal by CAA and Schiff Company and Davis by APA and Principal Entertainment.