Thesp will play used car dealer in Surnow-directed indie

“Law and Order: SVU” star Christopher Meloni is set to topline the indie drama “Small Time,” which marks the feature directorial debut of “24″ co-creator Joel Surnow, who will also produce the long-gestating passion project.

Set in Los Angeles, semi-autobiographical buddy pic finds Meloni playing a used car dealer with an ex-wife he still loves and a son who wants to skip college and enter the family business.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” star Devon Bostick is in negotiations to play Meloni’s son, while “Breaking Bad” thesp Dean Norris is circling the role of Meloni’s business partner.

Surnow wrote the script in honor of his drape salesman father upon graduating from UCLA film school in 1976, penning the initial draft with his late friend Randall Wallace, who will get a “characters created by” credit.

Jonathan Koch and Steve Michaels will exec produce through their Asylum Entertainment banner. Independently financed pic is skedded to start production at the end of April.

Meloni just wrapped Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” and will film Legendary Pictures’ Jackie Robinson biopic “42″ after “Small Time.”

Bostick next stars in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” as well as the Forest Whitaker-Eva Longoria indie “The Truth,” on which he also served as an associate producer.

Norris co-stars alongside Mel Gibson in “Get the Gringo” and just wrapped the Nicolas Cage-John Cusack thriller “Frozen Ground.”

Meloni is repped by Gersh and Industry Entertainment, which also reps Norris along with Bauman, Redanty & Shaul. Bostick is repped by Noble Caplan Abrams, Innovative Artists and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

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