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Viggo Mortensen-Mahershala Ali’s ‘Green Book’ Set for Awards-Season Release

Universal has given road-trip drama “Green Book,” starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, an awards-season release of Nov. 21.

Production companies are Participant Media and DreamWorks Pictures. Peter Farrelly directs the movie, based on a true friendship that transcended race, class and the 1962 Mason-Dixon line.

Mortensen portrays an Italian-American bouncer with a seventh-grade education who is hired to drive a world-class pianist, played by Ali, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South. They must rely on the “Negro Motorist Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for blacks.  Confronted with racism, danger — as well as unexpected humanity and humor — they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive.

Producers are Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler and Farrelly along with Farrelly’s fellow writers, Nick Vallelonga and Brian Currie. The drama is executive produced by Octavia Spencer, Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King, along with Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and Steve Farneth, as well as Kwame Parker. Linda Cardellini co-stars.

Universal made the announcement Monday. It also said it had moved Steve Carell’s drama “Welcome to Marwen” a month back from the Nov. 21 slot to Dec. 21.

“Marwen” is directed by Robert Zemeckis and based the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” that explores the life and work of artist and photographer Mark Hogancamp, who survived a 2000 beating by building a 1/6-scale World War II-era Belgian town in his yard and populating it with dolls representing himself, his friends, and his attackers.

“Marwen” is produced by Zemeckis, Steve Starkey, Jack Rapke and Cherylanne Martin of Zemeckis’ Universal-based ImageMovers banner. It is executive produced by Jackie Levine, as well as Jeff Malmberg, who directed the documentary that inspired the film.

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