Scott Cohen to co-star in Don Roos' drama

Natalie Portman is set to star with Scott Cohen and Charlie Tahan in “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits,” a Don Roos-directed adaptation of an Ayelet Waldman novel.

Produced by Marc Platt, the film will begin shooting in Manhattan on Nov. 10. Roos wrote the script.

Story revolves around a young woman who finds the key to recovering her marriage in her relationship with her precocious stepson.

The project becomes the first film funded by Incentive Filmed Entertainment. The financing entity was unveiled by William Morris at the Cannes film fest, with $100 million in production financing and a plan to fund films with budgets under $15 million. Incentive then licenses rights to both foreign and domestic distributors.

Portman will be executive producer under her handsomecharlie films banner. The shingle has a first-look deal with Participant Prods., and Portman recently wrote and directed “Eve,” a short film that starred Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara and Olivia Thirlby.

David Molner, managing director of Screen Capital Intl. and chairman of Incentive Filmed Entertainment, said Portman’s deal salvages a film that was imperiled when Jennifer Lopez abruptly dropped out.

“We were left in the lurch by one actress and rescued by another,” Molner said. “It goes to show that, particularlywith independent features, nothing is more important than the talent. It’s a blessing that Natalie loved the script and now we’ve got a strong film that we can sell at AFM.”

Platt, who just produced the Jonathan Demme-directed “Rachel Getting Married,” is in production on the Rob Marshall-directed “Nine” for the Weinstein Co. and Relativity. Platt exec produced Roos’ most recent film, “Happy Endings,” and as Orion’s production head, supervised Roos’ first film as a writer, the 1992 drama “Love Field.” Platt gave the Waldman book to Roos and lobbied him to direct after Roos turned in a strong adaptation.

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