Scott, Gellar, Lee, Garofalo in negotiations to star

Writer-director Richard Kelly, who made his feature debut with indie pic “Donnie Darko,” has written and will direct the comedy-musical thriller “Southland Tales” for Cherry Road Films.

Pic takes place in 2008 during a three-day Los Angeles heat wave leading up to a massive July 4 holiday celebration.

Seann William Scott is in negotiations to star in the project, set to begin shooting in July. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Lee, Janeane Garofalo, Tim Blake Nelson, Amy Poehler, Kevin Smith and Ali Larter are also in negotiations to join the cast.

The filmmakers are in discussions with Moby to contribute new music to the pic.

“This will only be a musical in a post-modern sense of the word in that it is a hybrid of several genres,” said Kelly. “There will be some dancing and singing, but it will be incorporated into the story in very logical scenarios as well as fantasy dream environments.”

Sean McKittrick will produce under the Darko Entertainment banner along with Cherry Road principals Kendall Morgan and CEO Bo Hyde. Pic is being produced outside of Cherry Road’s first look deal with Warner Independent Pictures.

Cherry Road Films produced Lions Gate’s forthcoming ensemble comedy “Eulogy,” directed by Michael Clancy and starring Ray Romano, Hank Azaria, Zooey Deschanel and Huck Botko. Shingle signed a two-year deal with Warner Independent Pictures, establishing a co-production and development fund covering eight to 10 projects a year in October.

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