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Michael Shannon Boards Romantic Drama ‘Swing’

In a pre-Cannes Film Festival deal, Michael Shannon has come on board to star in the romantic coming-of-age drama “Swing” with Howard Deutch directing.

Principal photography is scheduled to commence in September in New Jersey. Fortitude will introduce the film to buyers at the upcoming Cannes market, which opens May 14.

Shannon is also producing along with Lucas Jarach, Robert Ogden Barnum, Daniel Dávila and Byron Wetzel. Fortitude’s Nadine de Barros is executive producing alongside writer Vojin Gjaja.

The film, described as being in the tradition of “Friday Night Lights” and “Dead Poets Society,” is set in the world of elite varsity rowing circa 1999. The story is centered on a group of friends and crew teammates in their last year of college, whose lives are changed forever when a Vietnam vet, played by Shannon, takes over as coach of their dysfunctional team.

Gjaja, a former officer in the United States Army, based the screenplay on his experiences as an oarsman at Columbia University. Casting is currently underway for the remaining leads.

Shannon has been nominated for the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his roles in “Revolutionary Road” and “Nocturnal Animals.” His credits include “The Shape of Water,” “12 Strong” and the upcoming “Knives Out.” Deutch’s directing credits include “Pretty in Pink,” “The Replacements” and “The Great Outdoors.”

“Michael is a brilliant actor and paired with Howard’s directing precision, audiences will be riveted by the passion and emotional resonance of ‘Swing,'” said de Barros.

Shannon is represented by CAA, Wetzel Entertainment Group, and Morris, Yorn, Barnes, Levine, Krintzman, Runbenstein, Kohner & Gellman. Deutch is repped by Verve and Echo Lake Entertainment.

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