Dakota Johnson and Bruce Dern were cast in the film last month. 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.
The pic made headlines earlier this month when LaBeouf was arrested for public drunkenness, obstruction, and disorderly conduct while filming in Savannah, Ga.
The story follows Zak, a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from the nursing home where he lives to pursue a career as a professional wrestler and attend the Saltwater Redneck wrestling school. Through circumstances beyond their control, a small-time outlaw also on the run (LaBeouf) becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally.
Armory Films’ Tim Zajaros and Christopher Lemole will produce and finance the movie, alongside Bona Fide Productions’ Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, and T-Bone Burnett, Lije Sarki, and David Thies. Burnett will also produce the soundtrack.
Hawkes received an Academy Award nomination and Spirit Award win for his role in “Winter’s Bone.”
Bernthal stars as the titular assassin in the Netflix series “The Punisher.” He’s also appearing on the big screen in “Baby Driver.”
Haden Church received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in “Sideways.” He currently toplines the HBO series “Divorce” alongside Sarah Jessica Parker. Yelawolf is an American hip hop artist.
Hawkes is represented by Innovative Artists and Thruline Entertainment; Bernthal is represented by WME and the Burstein Company; Haden Church is represented by CAA and Finlay Management; and Yelawolf is represented by WME, and Slumerican, Shady and Interscope.