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Minghella sprig spies ‘Bee’

Helmer's offspring joins McGehee, Siegel project

Max Minghella, 18-year old son of “Cold Mountain” director Anthony Minghella, is set to make his feature debut in “Bee Season,” the Fox Searchlight family drama that stars Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche.

Scott McGehee and David Siegel are directing.

Minghella will play a young man whose parents are caught up in the spelling bee aspirations of his 11-year-old sister, who’s vying to become national champ. Gere and Binoche play the parents.

Minghella lives in London and is a member of the National Youth Theatre, but he has never acted in a movie before.

He is the second child of an Oscar-winning director to emerge in a major starring role. Bryce Dallas Howard, the 21-year-old daughter of director Ron Howard, was chosen by M. Night Shyamalan to make her studio feature debut as the lead female role in “The Village,” the film Shyamalan shot last fall for Disney.

She followed by replacing Nicole Kidman in the starring role of “Manderlay,” the Lars von Trier-directed pic which is the follow-up to “Dogville.”

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