EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has put together an all-star cast for its adaptation of Chuck Klosterman Downtown Owl with Lily Rabe, Oscar nominee Ed Harris, Vanessa Hudgens, Finn Wittrock, Jack Dylan Grazer and August Blanco Rosenstein. Rabe will also helm the pic with longtime collaborator Hamish Linklater, joining her as co-director. Linklater, who recently starred in Midnight Mass, also adapted the screenplay. T Bone Burnett does the music.
The film was part of the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Summit and Talent Forum and will be produced by Bettina Barrow and Rabe of Kill Claudio Productions, Rebecca Green and Linklater. Laura Rister is executive producer along with Lee Broda. Tom McLeod is co-executive producer. The picture is currently in production in Minnesota.
Three Point Capital is funding the photo. Initial artist support funding provided by Esme Grace Media.
The story is set somewhere in rural North Dakota in 1983 and is the fictional town called Owl where you won’t find cable or pop culture, but you will find a downtown area with a top notch Chevrolet dealership, three bars and a new high school English teacher whose presence turns the lives of the locals upside down just in time for a white blizzard for the ages. Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films has acquired worldwide rights to the film. Barrow and Rister brokered the deal with Stage 6 Films.
Eric Charles and Elizabeth Grave are overseeing the project for Stage 6 Films.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity, along with this phenomenal cast, exquisite crew and brilliant producing partners, to bring Chuck Klosterman’s haunting and hilarious human novel to the screen. We both grew up in small towns, towns we love. The bittersweet town of Owl felt like home from the first playthrough and we’re thrilled to make this love story about home into a movie,” wrote said Rabe and Linklater.
Rabe can currently be seen on Showtime’s anthology series, The first ladyand recently wrapped production on HBO’s limited series, Love and Death. She was most recently seen in Amazon Studio Tender bar opposite Ben Affleck and directed by George Clooney; as well as Barry Jenkins Underground Railroad and that of Ryan Murphy American Horror Story: Double Feature.
Wittrock’s film credits include Long weekend, with Zoe Chao, A mouthful of air, with Amanda Seyfried, Judy, with Renée Zellweger, The Last Black Man and If Beale Street Could Talk. He also starred in American Horror Story: 1984 and Ratched. Then he will appear alongside Mila Kunis in Netflix The luckiest girl in the world and HBO Max green lantern, based on the DC comics.
Harris is a four-time Oscar nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner for his performances in Hours, The Truman Show, Apollo 13, Game Change (HBO), Fall of the Empire (HBO) and Pollock – his debut as a feature film director. His second film, as a director, screenwriter and actor, was Appalosa, with Viggo Mortensen. He returns for Season 4 of the HBO series sensation, Westworld. He will then be seen in Top Gun: Maverickand can be seen in Netflix The lost girl Maggie Gyllenhaal’s award-winning film adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel.
Grazer starred in Luca Guadagnino we are who we are for HBO. He also starred in Warner Bros. horror films. This and It: Chapter 2based on the classic 1986 novel of the same name by Stephen King, Shazam! and Shazam! Fury of the gods and most recently, he played the lead role of Alberto Scorfano in Pixar’s Oscar-nominated animated feature. Lucas and 20th century studios Ron gone wrong.
Rosenstein is a graduate of LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and currently a student at Northwestern University. He can be seen as ‘Victor’ in the Netflix series Great Army, created by Katie Cappiello and produced by Beau Willimon and Chris Hatcher. His other film and television credits include The last full measure, with Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer, Ed Harris and Samuel L Jackson and the Blumhouse series The purge. Hamish recently starred in Mike Flanagan’s Netflix limited series, Midnight Mass, where he received critical acclaim for his starring role as “Father Paul”. Additional credits include Adam McKay The big courtthe amazon series Tell me your secretsand Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series The press room.
Rabe is replaced by WME, Sugar23 and attorney Tara Kole at Johnson, Shapiro, Slewett & Kole. Harris is replaced by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham’s Julian Zajfen. Wittrock is represented by CAA, Weissenbach Management and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham. Grazer is replaced by WME and manager Todd Tanquay. Hudgens is represented by CAA, Untitled and Ziffren Brittenham LLP. Linklater is replaced by ICM, Untitled Entertainment and attorney Tara Kole at Johnson, Shapiro, Slewett & Kole. Rosenstein is replaced by Jill Kaplan at Authentic Talent and Literary Management.