Thesp to topline Plum's 'Gone'

John Cusack has signed on to star in the Plum Pictures indie drama “Grace Is Gone.” Pic, which Cusack is also producing through his New Crime Prods. shingle with Grace Loh, will mark the directorial debut of James C. Strouse.

Penned by Strouse, “Grace Is Gone” centers on a father who takes his two daughters on a road trip upon learning that his wife has been killed in the line of duty in Iraq.  Shooting is scheduled to start in April.

In addition to Cusack and Loh, Plum Pictures’ Galt Niederhoffer, Daniela Taplin Lundbergh and Celine Rattray are producing. Reagan Silber, Bruce Lunsford, Ed Hart and Paul Bernstein exec produce. Marilyn Haft and Roberta Burrows are co-producing.

Cusack most recently toplined Focus Features release “Ice Harvest” alongside Billy Bob Thornton. He next stars in New Line Cinema’s “Martian Child” alongside sister Joan Cusack, Amanda Peet and Oliver Platt, followed by “The Contract” with Morgan Freeman. New Crime Prods.’ credits include “High Fidelity,” “The Jack Bull” and “Grosse Pointe Blank.”

Strouse’s writing credits include “Lonesome Jim,” directed by Steve Buscemi and starring Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler. Pic is due for release later this month from IFC Films.

Plum is also producing “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” at Paramount, an adaptation of Niederhoffer’s novel “A Taxonomy of Barnacles” for Revolution and the Justin Theroux-directed “Dedication,” which is in production starring Billy Crudup, Mandy Moore and Tom Wilkinson.

WMA reps Cusack and Strouse.

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