×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern Join Shia LaBeouf in ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’

Dakota Johnson and Bruce Dern have joined Shia LaBeouf in the adventure drama “The Peanut Butter Falcon.”

Newcomer Zachary Gottsagen, who is the inspiration for the film, will play the principal character of Zak in the movie, which will be directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz from their own script.

Variety first reported in May that LaBeouf had come on board. The story follows Zak, a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from the nursing home where he lives to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler and attending the Saltwater Redneck wrestling school. Through circumstances beyond their control, a small-time outlaw also on the run (to be played by LaBeouf) becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally.

Armory Films’ Tim Zajaros and Christopher Lemole will produce and finance the film, alongside Bona Fide Productions’ Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, T-Bone Burnett, Lije Sarki, and David Thies. Burnett will also produce the soundtrack. Principal photography will commence on June 17 in Savannah, Ga.

Zajaros and Lemole said: “Films like this are the reason why we got into the business. The script is absolutely incredible and the message so important, which should be apparent from the superb talent that the script has attracted. Tyler and Michael are extremely talented and we couldn’t be more excited to be working with them.”

Johnson has starred in the two “Fifty Shades of Grey” films and will next be seen starring in Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria.” Dern received Academy Award nominations for his roles in “Nebraska” and “Coming Home” and has appeared in over 100 films. Burnett won an Academy Award for original song for “Crazy Heart” in 2009.

Gottsagen lives with high-functioning Down syndrome, and became the inspiration for the movie  after Nilson and Schwartz met him while working at a non-profit arts organization.

Johnson is represented by WME; Dern is represented by Innovative Artists and Pure Arts; Burnett is represented by L J Entertainment; and Nilson, Schwartz and Sarki are represented by Management 360 and Bloom/Hergott.

More Film

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

  • Gravitas Ventures Acquires Irish Film ‘Lost

    Gravitas Ventures Acquires Irish Comedy ‘Lost & Found’

    Irish writer/director Liam O Mochain’s third feature film, “Lost & Found,” has been picked up by Gravitas Ventures for all rights worldwide, excluding Ireland, U.K., Australia and New Zealand. The film was recently acquired by Rialto Film Distribution for Australia and New Zealand, Film 4 and High Fliers for the U.K., and RTE TV in [...]

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Anonymous Content Adds Meredith Rothman to

    Anonymous Content Adds Meredith Rothman to Management Division (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has added Meredith Rothman to its management division, Variety has learned. She joins the company from Mosaic, where she spent the last five years as a talent and literary manager. Rothman started her career working for casting director Francine Maisler and later worked as an assistant at Independent Talent Group in London. She [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Could Tangle Up to $40 Million in Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is dominating the domestic box office as it heads for up to $40 million in its opening weekend at 3,813 North American locations, early estimates showed on Friday. Clint Eastwood’s drug-runner drama “The Mule” should finish second with about $18 million at 2,558 venues, at the high end of expectations. MRC-Universal’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content