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Aubrey Plaza Joins Hal Hartley’s ‘Ned Rifle’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Aubrey Plaza will play the lead female role in Hal Hartley’s long-planned dark comedy “Ned Rifle.”

Production is scheduled to begin in April in New York City.

Plaza will play Susan, the long lost flame of Henry Fool in the third and final chapter of Hartley’s trilogy, launched with 1997’s “Henry Fool” and continued with 2007’s “Fay Grim.” Returning actors include Thomas Jay Ryan (Henry Fool), Parker Posey (Fay Grim), Liam Aiken and James Urbaniak reprising their original roles.

Hartley alumni Martin Donovan, Karen Sillas, Robert John Burke and William Sage round out the supporting cast.

Plaza specializes in deadpan comedy in “Parks and Recreation” and in lead feature roles in “Safety Not Guaranteed” and “The To-Do List.” She starred in “Life After Beth,” which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, and in Jesse Zwick’s “About Alex,” which will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.

Hartley’s script for “Henry Fool” won the screenplay award at Cannes. In it, Urbaniak’s Simon Grim character writes an epic poem in blank verse, winning acclaim and controversy for its pornographic content while Henry Fool abandons writing and takes Simon’s old job as a garbageman to support his family.

In “Fay Grim,” Posey’s character descends into a world of espionage to locate the notebooks that belonged to her fugitive husband, Henry Fool.

“Ned Rifle” is being produced by Hartley and Matthew Myers under Hartley’s Possible Films banner. Producers are aiming to complete the film for release in the fall.

Plaza is represented by CAA and the Schiff Co. Hartley is repped by Stephen Gates and Sekka Scher of Evolution Entertainment. Myers is repped by Gil Harari at APA.

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