Duo in negotiations to join Rob Reiner drama

EXCLUSIVE: Virginia Madsen and Kenan Thompson are in negotiations to join Rob Reiner’s drama “Summer at Dog Dave’s,” which is set up at Castle Rock Entertainment.

Morgan Freeman stars as a wheelchair-bound author of Western novels whose alcoholism is making him lose his passion for writing. Madsen will play his new neighbor, a single mother going through a divorce who has three daughters. The family strikes up a relationship with the novelist and helps him rediscover his talent and find his passion for writing again.

Thompson will play Freeman’s helpful nephew in the film.

Annette Bening was previously reported to be playing the female lead but she was never officially on board,

Guy Thomas wrote the inspirational script along with Reiner and Andrew Scheinman.

Alan Greisman, Lori McCreary, David Valdes and Salli Newman will produce, while Castle Rock prexy Liz Glotzer and CEO Martin Shafer will exec produce.

Nicolas Chartier’s Voltage Pictures is selling international rights for the picture in Berlin.

Production is scheduled to start this July in Greenwood Lake, NY.

Madsen recently co-starred in Catherine Hardwicke’s “Red Riding Hood” and signed on to produce Hardwicke’s adaptation of “The Bitch Posse” through her shingle Title IX, which optioned Martha O’Connor’s book.

Thompson can currently be seen on “Saturday Night Live” and will soon be heard as the voice of Greedy Smurf in “The Smurfs,” which Sony Pictures Animation will release on July 29.

Madsen is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment, while Thompson is repped by UTA, manager Michael Goldman and attorney Gordon Bobb.

Thomas’ deal was negotiated by his longtime lawyer Paul Newman of Newman and Associates.

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