Stoneluck-finance comedy adapted from Sherman play

HOLLYWOOD — Ethan Hawke, Carla Gugino (“Spy Kids”) and Frank Whaley are toplining Whaley’s second directorial effort, “The Jimmy Show.”

“Jimmy,” produced by Mary Jane Skalski and Stonelock Pictures head Beni Atoori, is one of several pics that Stonelock is fully financing and plans to put into production before the possible guild strikes next summer.

Founded by Atoori seven years ago, Stonelock has produced such pics as “The Spreading Ground,” starring Dennis Hopper, and bridge-financed others, including “A Dog of Flanders.”

“Jimmy” was adapted by Whaley from the Jonathan Mark Sherman play “Veins and Thumbtacks.” Hawke directed the play, with Whaley in the lead, at Manhattan’s Malaparte Theater.

“Jimmy” is the story of a failed New Jersey inventor who embarks on a career as a standup comedian. As he hits the amateur-comedy circuit, with disastrous results, he turns to drink and labors to keep his family together.

“It’s a quirky ensemble comedy,” Whaley said, “and a metaphor for your hopes and dreams being right in front of you and not knowing it.”

Stonelock’s Sabrina Atoori and Colin Bates will co-produce and Heidi Crane will exec produce “Jimmy,” which is budgeted at just over $1 million and is shooting for 22 days on Staten Island. Cast also includes Lynn Coen and Robert Whaley.

Whaley, who has acted in dozens of films, including “Broken Arrow,” “Swimming With Sharks” and “Pulp Fiction,” made his directorial debut with 1999’s “Joe the King.”

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