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Film News Roundup: Dermot Mulroney, Melora Walters Join ‘Hard Luck Love Song’

In today’s film news roundup, Dermot Mulroney will play a meth head, production wraps on the transgender drama “Relish,” and Tom Everett Scott’s “Danger One” gets a release.

CASTINGS

Dermot Mulroney and Melora Walters have joined the music-inspired independent feature “Hard Luck Love Song” opposite Sophia Bush and Michael Dorman, Variety has learned exclusively.

Commercial director Justin Corsbie will helm from a script he wrote with Nicholl semifinalist Craig Ugoretz, based on the Todd Snider song “Just Like Old Times.” Allison Smith, Douglas Matejka, and Corsbie are producing; executive producers are Peter Scalettar and Christian Monti.

“Hard Luck Love Song” follows Dorman’s down-on-his-luck troubadour, who finds himself at an existential crossroads as his bad decisions catch up with him. His world spins into further upheaval after a chance encounter with an old flame, played by Bush.

Mulroney’s character is a sketchy meth head with a dangerous side. Walter’s character is the respected long-time bartender at the local dive. Brian Sacca has also joined the cast as a police officer.

“Hard Luck Love Song” is Synthetic Pictures’ narrative feature debut. Its previous documentary feature, “DMT: The Spirit Molecule,” was released in 2011 and became one of the most-streamed documentaries on Netflix.

Mulroney was recently seen in “The Mountain Between Us” with Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, in “Sleepless” with Jamie Foxx, and “Dirty Grandpa” with Zac Efron and Robert De Niro. He will soon be seen re-teaming with Julia Roberts in “Homecoming.” He is represented by WME.

Walters can next be seen in Sony-Marvel’s “Venom” opposite Riz Ahmed and Tom Hardy, and in Albert Chi’s dramatic thriller “The Amaranth.” Walters is represented by Buchwald, Shelter Entertainment, Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein, and Media Vision Artists in the UK.

PRODUCTION WRAPS

ManM Productions and Ohana Films have wrapped post-production on “Relish,” a drama starring Tyler DiChiara and directed by Justin Ward.

The film tells the story of five teenage outcasts who escape a private treatment facility. Led by a rebellious transgender male (DiChiara), the group embarks on a wild, life-changing road trip – ultimately discovering they have a lot more in common than they ever imagined.

DiChiara endorsed Scarlett Johansson’s recent decision to drop out of her role as a transgender man in “Rub and Tug.”

“I think trans people should have the opportunity to play trans people, just because we get so few opportunities to get hired as actors,” said DiChiara, “I love what Scarlett Johansson did.  She gave the trans community a voice finally. She is helping us be seen. I also want to thank the trans community for standing up and speaking out.  We need the trans youth – more now than ever – to see more of us in films, in professional careers, and doing things beyond negative stereotypes and projections. “Relish” is about inclusion and acceptance, and I am honored to have played a leading role in it.”

Ward’s credits include “The Meanest Man in Texas.” MANM Productions’ Terry Nardozzi is on board as producer – her first feature film following her involvement with a string of Broadway productions.

“We did a nationwide search for a real transgender person and found DiChiara, who is a tremendous actor and human being,” says Ward, “At its core, this is a story about unity and acceptance, and the freedom to be yourself.”

Other “Relish” cast members include Mateus Ward (“Murder in the First”), Hana Hayes (“Insidious: The Last Key”), Rio Mangini (“Bitch,” “Everything Sucks!”), and James Morrison (“24”). Mateus Ward is co-producing and Brad Wilson is the consulting producer, who formerly operated Robert Duvall Productions.

ACQUISITION

Freestyle Digital MediA has acquired the domestic rights to “Danger One,” a dark comedy/action movie starring Tom Everett Scott, James Jurdi, Angélica Celaya, Damon Dayoub, and Denis O’Hare.

“Danger One” is directed by Tom Oesch and written by Steffen Schlachtenhaufen. Scott and Jurdi play paramedics who are both facing long hours, tough situations, and low pay. When they get a 911 call that leads them to discover a million dollars sewn into the clothes of a dying man, they decide to keep the money — only to find that when their colleagues, played by Celaya and Dayoub, learn of the plan, betrayal, and double crosses ensue.

Production companies are Mythmaker Productions and Silvatar Media. Producers include Dwjuan Fox, Naji Jurdi, Mark James, James Jurdi, Bradley A. Jabour, Michael S. Klein, Victor Najjarian, Saud Shawwaf, Chady Eli Mattar, Scott C. Silver, and David Willing. The film will hit select theaters nationwide on Sept. 14 along with all digital platforms.

The deal was negotiated by Miguel Johnson of Freestyle and by Mythmaker Productions.

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