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Paul Dano to Make Directorial Debut With Indie Drama ‘Wildlife’

Paul Dano will make his feature directorial debut with the coming-of-age drama “Wildlife,” helming from a script he’s written with Zoe Kazan.

Wildlife,” based on the 1990 Richard Ford novel, is being produced by Alex Saks for June Pictures with Oren Moverman, Ann Ruark and Dano. Kazan is executive producing.

The narrator of the book is a teenage boy who watches his parents’ marriage start to come apart after the family moves to Montana. ”In the fall of 1960, when I was 16 and my father was for a time not working, my mother met a man named Warren Miller and fell in love with him,” the book begins.

Neither Dano nor Kazan are expected to act in “Wildlife.” Dano’s credits include “Little Miss Sunshine,” “There Will Be Blood,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Love & Mercy” and “Swiss Army Man.” He’s currently in production on “Okja” with “Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-Ho.

Dano and Kazan starred in “Ruby Sparks,” directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris from Kazan’s script.

Moverman wrote the script for “Love & Mercy.” He directed and co-wrote “The Messenger” with Alessandro Camon and won the Silver Bear for best screenplay award and the peace film award at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009. He’s also a producer on Richard Gere’s “Oppenheimer Strategies.”

Ruark produced “Equals,” starring Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult, and executive produced “Love & Mercy.”

Saks launched June Pictures earlier this year with Andrew Duncan. It began production last month on the ensemble comedy “Fun Mom Dinner,” starring Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Bridget Everett and Molly Shannon, and is also in production on “The Florida Project,” written and directed Sean Baker (“Tangerine”).

June Pictures is also in post-production on drama-comedy “Dude,” written and directed by Olivia Milch, starring Lucy Hale, Kathryn Prescott, Alexandra Shipp and Awkwafina; and the psychological thriller “Thoroughbred,” written and directed by Cory Finley, starring Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy and the late Anton Yelchin.

Dano is repped by WME and Anonymous Content. News about his directing “Wildlife” was first reported by The Tracking Board.

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