Ben Schnetzer has signed on to star in the independent drama “The Grizzlies.”
Shooting starts in April in Iqaluit, Nunavut – a small city in the Canadian Arctic.
Schnetzer starred alongside Nick Jonas as his brother in fraternity hazing drama “Goat,” which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival.
Producer-director Miranda de Pencier (“Beginners”) is making her feature directorial debut and helming from a script by Moira Walley-Beckett and Graham Yost. Walley-Beckett won an Emmy and WGA award for “Breaking Bad,” while Yost was the creator and executive producer of the FX series “Justified” and is an executive producer on FX show “The Americans.”
“The Grizzlies” is based on the inspiring true story of high school teacher Russ Sheppard, who arrived in a struggling Arctic community ravaged by alcoholism, abuse and the highest suicide rate in North America, and started a lacrosse league. The sports league galvanized the town and sparked a change in the kids who transformed their lives for the better.
Fitness entrepreneur and producer Jake Steinfeld, founder of Major League Lacrosse, held the rights to Sheppard’s story. He will exec produce along with “Jurassic World” producer Frank Marshall.
Schnetzer’s credits include “The Book Thief,” “Pride,” Oliver Stone’s upcoming “Snowden” and Duncan Jones’ “Warcraft.”
De Pencier’s Northwood Entertainment will produce alongside Zanne Devine (“Easy A”) of Pacific Northwest Pictures, Damon D’Oliveira, and Nunavut-based producers Stacey Aglok MacDonald and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril.
“The Grizzlies” is the second collaboration between Northwood Entertainment and Walley-Beckett. The are also exec producing “Anne,” based on classic children’s novel “Anne of Green Gables,” as a CBC series.
“Miranda is the perfect choice to tell this hopeful and life affirming story,” Marshall said. “We have put together a very talented team to support her vision in telling this amazing story about how one man with a simple idea and a sport can save and change lives forever.”
Schnetzer is repped by Gersh and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.