Jennifer Lawrence at one point was set to star with Matthew McConaughey being courted for the role Harrelson would step into, but when the film could not get a greenlight, Lawrence left the project, forcing Lionsgate to look elsewhere.
Lionsgate had no comment.
Destin Cretton, who directed the critically acclaimed drama “Short Term 12” with Larson, will direct.
The pic is based on the Jeannette Walls memoir about a young girl who comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads. Walls’ eccentric mother and alcoholic father would stir the the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.
Cretton and Andrew Lanham penned the latest draft with Gil Netter and Erik Feig producing.
Harrelson can be seen next in the final installment in “The Hunger Games” franchise, “Mockingjay – Part 2,” followed by the cop drama “Triple 9” opposite Casey Affleck. He is currently filming the Fox Searchlight pic “Wilson” opposite Laura Dern and will follow that up with Fox’s “War for the Planet of the Apes.”
He is repped by CAA. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.