Picturehouse and HBO Films have set Patricia Rozema to direct “American Girl,” its live-action feature starring Abigail Breslin and inspired by the line of dolls and accessories.
The film has set a release date of July 2, 2008.
Stanley Tucci, Glenne Headly and Jane Krakowski have also been set, and talks are under way with Julia Ormond, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Wallace Shawn to join the cast.
Breslin plays Kit Kittredge, a girl who tries to help save her family as it struggles through the Depression.
Ann Peacock (“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”) wrote the script, and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Marisa Yeres and Lisa Gillan are producing. Filming begins next month.
Open auditions for Kit’s three closest friends began this week in Los Angeles, will continue in Chicago and wrap up in New York next week, with the open calls being held at American Girl stores.While Picturehouse topper Bob Berney acknowledges he’s unaccustomed to sticking his flag in the July 4 weekend, he feels he’s got a pre-sold brand that will be good counter-programming to the blockbusters that dominate early summer. So far, the competition is the Will Smith superhero film “Tonight, He Comes,” an adult-themed film that won’t clash demographics.
“The American Girl brand is so strong, and is such a community, that we can stake out that date,” Berney said. “I think we can push through all the noise and reach an audience that is just huge.”