Culkin into ‘Creek’ for Whitewater

Kelley, Morgan, Peck to co-star in Estes-helmed pic

This article was corrected on June 25, 2003.

Rory Culkin has signed on to star in “Mean Creek,” an indie feature being financed and produced by Rick Rosenthal’s Whitewater Films.

Pic marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Jacob Estes. Ensemble cast also includes Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor Morgan, Josh Peck, Carly Schroeder and William Mapother.

Whitewater’s Rosenthal, VP Susan Johnson and Hagai Shaham will produce the pic, which is the first Whitewater feature to go into production.

Shooting on “Creek” will start at the beginning of July in Oregon.

Pic is about a group of kids who conspire to get even with the school bully, but when the plan goes awry, they are forced to face up to the moral consequences of their action.

Whitewater and Estes are also collaborating on “Nearing Grace,” which revolves around an eccentric teenager who drops out of life after the death of his mother.

Adapted by Estes from Scott Sommer’s novel, Rosenthal is attached to direct. John Wells Prods. and Killer Films will produce.

Culkin most recently appeared in “It Runs in the Family,” starring opposite Michael and Kirk Douglas. His other film credits include “Signs,” “Igby Goes Down” as 10-year-old Igby and “You Can Count on Me.”

Rosenthal’s directing credits include “Bad Boys,” “American Dreamer” and “Halloween: Resurrection.”

Whitewater was formed by Rosenthal and Johnson last year after the two met when Johnson was a student at the American Film Institute and Rosenthal was chair of the directing Program.

Estes won the Nicholl Award for Creek” while a fellow at AFI.