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In today’s film news roundup, Justine Bateman is making her feature film directorial debut, “Dog Days” unveils its massive cast including Eva Longoria; and Luma moves into animated movies.

DIRECTOR HIRED

Justine Bateman will make her feature film directorial debut with the independent drama, “Violet” starring Dree Hemingway in the title role, Variety has learned exclusively.

The script, written by Bateman, follows a rising film executive who lives her life according to “the voice” in her head. When a friend unknowingly exposes a moment of truth, she realizes the voice has been lying to her about everything and  begins rebelling against the voice — and finds that there’s hell to pay.

Bateman will produce the project under her Section 5 banner, along with Mark G. Mathis. Shooting is slated to begin in February in Los Angeles.

Bateman is represented by Hummel Entertainment and by Hertz Lichtenstein & Young.

CASTINGS

Independent movie “Dog Days” has cast a wide array of actors including Eva Longoria, Tig Notaro, Rob Corddry, Michael Cassidy and Jasmine Cephas Jones.

The Ken Marino-directed movie is about a group of interconnected people in Los Angeles who are brought together by their canine counterparts. Marino will also have a role in the film. The script is written by Elissa Matsueda, with current revisions by Erica Oyama.

Production kicked off earlier this month in Los Angeles. LD Entertainment is fully financing the project. Prodcucers are Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon, and Jennifer Monroe.

Other cast members include Ron Cephas Jones, John Gemberling, Ryan Hansen, Thomas Lennon, Lauren Lapkus, Jessica Lowe, Toks Olagundoye, Jessica St. Clair and David Wain. Previously announced cast members include Jon Bass, Tone Bell, Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Adam Pally and Finn Wolfhard. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

ANIMATION PROJECTS

Luma has tapped Carlos Stevens to develop two original animated feature films with an option to direct for the studio’s animation division, Variety has learned exclusively.

Stevens’ directing credits that include short film “The Alchemist’s Letter” as well as major commercials for Sony and Pepsi Co. Stevens has recently signed with Verve for representation and is managed by Heitmann Entertainment’s Tarik Heitmann.

“Carlos Stevens is a true talent, a lyrical, emotional and imaginative storyteller who has a clear vision for
his films,” said Luma’s Jill Gilbert.

Luma launched in 2002 as a visual effects specialist and worked on “Charlie’s Angels,”Doctor Strange,” “Alien: Covenant” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Founded by Payam Shohadai in Santa Monica, California, the
company expanded to Melbourne, Australia in 2012.