Actor set to play middle-aged, wealthy rock star

Sean Penn is in talks to star in “This Must Be the Place,” a film that will mark the English-language feature debut of Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, who is Un Certain Regard jury prexy at Cannes.

Penn would play a wealthy rock star who becomes bored in his retirement and takes on the quest of finding his father’s executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the U.S.

The script was co-written by Sorrentino and Umberto Contarello.

“This Must Be the Place” will be produced by Nicola Guiliano of Indigo Film and Andrea Occhipinti of Lucky Red, producer of Sorrentino’s “Il Divo.”

While conversations about financing are just getting under way, sources said Penn and Sorrentino have made the commitment to work together on the project, pending the completion of his previous film commitments that include “The Three Stooges,” the MGM comedy to be directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly and star Penn, Jim Carrey and Benicio Del Toro; Universal/Imagine drama “Cartel,” to be helmed by Asger Leth; and “Fair Game.” That Doug Liman-directed drama about outed CIA agent Valerie Plame has just gotten under way, with Penn and Naomi Watts starring for River Road.

Penn most recently completed the Terrence Malick-directed “The Tree of Life,” also starring Brad Pitt, for River Road.

He’s repped by CAA, Sorrentino by UTA.

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