Camilla Belle Mad Whale
Dan Doperalski/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Camilla Belle will star in the historical drama “The Mad Whale” alongside James Franco, Dominic Rains, Summer Phoenix and Nicole Starrett, Variety has learned exclusively.

“The Mad Whale” is a co-production between Franco’s Elysium Bandini Studios and USC’s School of Cinema. The gothic drama is set in the claustrophobic and brutal world of a women’s mental asylum circa the late 1800s where the patients, some of whom are insane, are tasked with staging a play based on Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.”

The film is the fourth iteration of the “Franco Feature” that professors Franco and John Watson teach at USC.

This marks the first feature collaboration for Elysium Bandini since Variety broke the news of the philanthropic studio model between Franco and Vince Jolivette’s Rabbit Bandini Productions, and the Art of Elysium.

Elysium Bandini’s existing film slate includes “Forever,” “Yosemite” and “Memoria.” All of the movies’ proceeds benefit programs for the nonprofit the Art of Elysium.

Producers on “The Mad Whale” include Austin Kolodney and Brandon Somerhalder, who were students under Franco at USC two years ago. Executive producers are Franco, Vince Jolivette and Jennifer Howell of Elysium Bandini, along with USC School of Cinematic Arts’ John Watson.

Belle’s credits include “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” “When a Stranger Calls,” “10,000 BC,” “Push” and “Breakaway.” Belle is represented by manager Deborah Gould and attorney Darren Trattner.

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