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John Hawkes to star in ‘Surrogate’

Stephen Nemeth will produce indie drama

John Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”) is attached to star in the indie drama “Surrogate” for Rhino Films.

Ben Lewin is on board to write and direct the pic, with Stephen Nemeth producing.

Pic is based on the life of Mark O’Brien, a poet and journalist who, after spending most of his life with an iron lung as a result of polio, decides to explore his sexuality. He hires a sex surrogate and soon develops a relationship that changes both of their lives.

“Surrogate” is not the first time O’Brien’s life has been the subject of a film. In 1996, documentary filmmaker Jessica Yu directed “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien,” which won an Oscar for documentary short.

“Surrogate,” however, is not based on “Breathing Lessons.”

Hawkes is repped by Innovative and Thruline Entertainment.

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