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‘Treme’ thesp Pierce to play B.B. King

Michael Schroeder will direct King Size pic

King Size Film Prods. has tapped Michael Schroeder to direct its upcoming feature “B.B. King and I,” which is set to star “Treme” thesp Wendell Pierce as the legendary bluesman, and Patrick Fugit as one of his closest friends.

Michael Zanetis, upon whom Fugit’s character is based, is producing the indie, which he co-wrote with Melora Donoghue. Frank Capra III will serve as a co-producer.

Based on a true story, “B.B. King and I” follows Zanetis as the drummer who travels from the heartland of America to Hollywood in pursuit of his musical destiny. After attending a King concert in 1980, Zanetis struck up a friendship with the blues legend that endured for 30 years, culminating with him gifting King with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“We are thrilled that Wendell has come aboard,” Zanetis said. “We’re fortunate to have an actor of his caliber and reputation for dedication to his craft, portraying one of America’s most beloved icons. This year marks the 21st Anniversary of Mr. King receiving his Star and his 86th birthday, so we feel the time is right to bring our tribute to him to the big screen.”

Production is set to start Sept. 1, and producers are eyeing a Spring 2012 release.

Pierce, who is best known for playing Det. William ‘Bunk’ Moreland on HBO’s “The Wire,” recently appeared in “Love Ranch,” “Night Catches Us” and the silent pic “Bolden!” Thesp will soon be seen in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1.”

Fugit, best known for playing a fictional version of Cameron Crowe in “Almost Famous,” will soon be seen in Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo,” which 20th Century Fox will release Dec. 23. Thesp was last seen in “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant.”

Schroeder last wrote, directed and produced the 2007 Christopher Plummer pic “Man in the Chair.”

Pierce is repped by Paradigm and manager Don Spradlin, while Gersh and Levin/Brown Management rep Fugit. Schroeder is repped by Ken Gross Management.

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