Fox Searchlight to distrib pic from 'Sunshine' team

Annette Bening has found her first project since earning an Oscar nomination for “The Kids Are All Right,” as the actress is in negotiations to play Paul Dano’s mother in Fox Searchlight’s “He Loves Me.”

Dano stars as Calvin, a once-great novelist who is creativity blocked due to heartache and loneliness. That changes when he writes his dream girl, who comes to life to be his girlfriend. That role will be played by Dano’s real-life girlfriend, Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the script.

Bening will play Gertrude, apainter who’s curious about Calvin’s new girlfriend but worried about how much he hates her second husband, a hippie named Mort.

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are directing the pic as their followup to “Little Miss Sunshine,” which co-starred Dano and was released by Fox Searchlight. Project also reunites the trio with “Sunshine” producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, who will produce “He Loves Me” through their Bona Fide Prods. banner.

Production is slated to start next month.

Bening is repped by CAA.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more