To play opposite Costner, Wright Penn

Young thesp Jesse James has been cast in the Warner Bros. drama “Message in a Bottle” opposite Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn. Pic is slated for a holiday 1998 release.

James, who is currently appearing onscreen as the young son of Helen Hunt’s character in the James Brooks hit “As Good As It Gets,” will once again play the child of the leading lady, in this case Penn.

Luis Mandoki will direct from a screenplay by Gerald DiPego. Denise Di Novi is producing, with Jim Wilson and Costner.

James’ other film credits include Robert Altman’s “The Gingerbread Man.” He’ll also be seen in the upcoming indie drama “Gods & Monsters” opposite Brendan Fraser and Ian McKellen. James is set to star in indie drama “A Dog of Flanders” following his work on “Bottle.”

James’ “Bottle” deal was negotiated by his agent Loch Powell of Coast Talent Group, and manager Dino May.

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