'Descendants' thesp to topline Gregg Araki indie drama
Hot off her acclaimed supporting perf in Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” Shailene Woodley has signed on to topline “White Bird,” a new indie project from writer-director Gregg Araki.Drama is told from the point of view of Woodley’s character, a troubled young woman whose life is upended following the mysterious disappearance of her mother. With Woodley in place, Araki will turn his attention to casting the other key roles, including the protag’s parents and the lead detective on the case. Araki will produce “White Bird” with his frequent collaborators Pascal Caucheteux and Sebastien Lemercier of Why Not Prods. One of the most lauded and prolific production companies in France, Why Not was responsible for four films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, including Jacques Audiard’s “Rust And Bone,” Ken Loach’s “The Angel’s Share,” Cristian Mungiu’s “Beyond The Hills” and Bruno Podalydes’ “Adieu Berthe.” Shingle, which has produced over 75 features including Audiard’s “A Prophet,” is currently shooting “Jimmy Picard” with Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Almaric. Araki is an independent filmmaker whose ten features include the Joseph Gordon-Levitt drama “Mysterious Skin,” the Anna Faris comedy “Smiley Face” and cult hit “The Doom Generation.” His most recent film, “Kaboom,” premiered in Cannes and was distributed stateside by IFC. Woodley, who currently stars on ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” earned a Golden Globe nom for “The Descendants,” as well as an Independent Spirit Award and recognition from the National Board of Review. Thesp is attached to star opposite Miles Teller in James Ponsoldt’s indie “The Spectacular Now.” Woodley is repped by Paradigm, Principato-Young Entertainment, the Savage Agency and Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson. Araki is repped by Brian Young of Killer Moxie and attorney Shelley Surpin of Surpin & Mayersohn.