Wright Penn to play with Pitt, Norton in thriller

Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn will join Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Jason Bateman in “State of Play,” the Universal Pictures/Working Title adaptation of the British miniseries.

Kevin Macdonald is directing; Matthew Michael Carnahan wrote the script.

McAdams will play a reporter in the middle of a career-making story, as her newspaper investigates the death of the mistress of a fast-rising congressman. Mirren will play the newspaper’s steely editor, a role undertaken by Bill Nighy in the original mini. Wright Penn will play the congressman’s estranged wife. She becomes romantically involved with the pol’s former campaign manager (Pitt), who leads the newspaper’s investigative team. Norton plays the congressman and Bateman plays the other lead reporter.

Andrew Hauptman is producing with Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Paul Abbott, who wrote the six-hour mini, is exec producer.

McAdams is playing the title role in the Robert Schwentke-directed “The Time Traveler’s Wife” for New Line and recently wrapped Neil Burger’s “The Return.”

Mirren next stars in “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” for Disney and “Inkheart” for New Line. Wright Penn next will be seen in “Beowulf” and the Barry Levinson-directed comedy “What Just Happened?” for 2929 Prods. and Warner Bros.

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