Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney, and Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) have joined the coming-of-age comedy Struck by Lightning. Written by and starring Chris Colfer (Glee), the pic recently began principal photography under the steady hand of director Brian Dannelly (Saved!) and is told in flashback from the perspective of a young man (Colfer) who was struck and killed by lightning. Per the press release, the guts of the film will document his “exploits as he blackmails his fellow senior classmates into contributing to a literary magazine he’s publishing.”
In addition to the cast already mentioned, Struck by Lightning also stars Angela Kinsey (The Office), Allie Grant (Weeds), Ashley Rickards (Fly Away), Polly Bergen (Desperate Housewives), and Brad Henke (Choke). A lot could be riding on the film for Colfer as it’s both his feature debut and, as we reported yesterday, he isn’t expected to return for season 4 of the show that made him a semi-household name, Glee. Here’s to hoping his television success can translate to the big screen. For a little more on the project and the three newly announced cast members, hit the jump for the full press release.
Here’s the official press release:
Los Angeles, CA – July 14, 2011 – Principal photography is underway for the independent coming-of-age comedy STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. Christina Hendricks (“MAD MEN,” upcoming I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT and DRIVE), Dermot Mulroney (upcoming J.EDGAR and EVERYBODY LOVES WHALES), and Sarah Hyland (“MODERN FAMILY”) join the talented cast along with Allison Janney (JUNO, upcoming THE HELP) with a script penned by Emmy® nominee Chris Colfer (“GLEE”) and directed by Brian Dannelly (SAVED) . Supporting cast includes Angela Kinsey (“THE OFFICE”), Allie Grant (“WEEDS” and the new ABC Comedy “SUBURGATORY”), Ashley Rickards (“AWKWARD” and FLY AWAY), Polly Bergen (“DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES” ), Brad Henke (CHOKE), Robbie Amell (“TRUE JACKSON”) and Carter Jenkins (ALIENS IN THE ATTIC).
The story, which opens with Colfer’s character being struck and killed by a bolt of lightning, is told in flashback, and chronicles his exploits as he blackmails his fellow senior classmates into contributing to a literary magazine he’s publishing.
“We’re so thrilled to begin filming this story that really captures the trials and tribulations of coming into your own,” said Brian Dannelly. “We’ve got a phenomenal cast on board and Chris’ script is so smart, fresh, and funny but also has such heart. I’m excited to help tell this coming-of-age story that I think will resonate with young audiences, and all of us who’ve survived adolescence.”
Best known for her Emmy® -nominated portrayal of ‘Joan Harris’ on AMC’s critically acclaimed series “MAD MEN”, Hendricks’ upcoming features include The Weinstein Company’s comedy, I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT, starring opposite Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan, and the independent feature DRIVE. She was recently seen on stage with the NY Philharmonic, earning critically acclaimed reviews for her performance in Steven Sondheim’s Tony award-winning musical, COMPANY. Hendricks is represented at Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin, CAA, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman.
Dermot Mulroney can be seen starring in a number of projects that will be released in the coming year including THE FAMILY TREE with Hope Davis; Clint Eastwood’s J. EDGAR , in which he plays Colonel Schwarzkopf to Leonardo Di Caprio’s J. Edgar Hoover; and EVERYBODY LOVES WHALES, directed by Ken Kwapis, with Drew Barrymore, Kristen Bell and John Krasinski. He has also completed work on BEYOND, a thriller from director Josef Rusnak also starring Jon Voight; THE GREY, a thriller directed by Joe Carnahan with Liam Neeson; and TRADE OF INNOCENTS, an independent film written and directed by Christopher Bessette, in which he stars opposite Mira Sorvino. He also recently made his feature directorial debut with LOVE, WEDDING, MARRIAGE, a comedy starring Mandy Moore, James Brolin, and Jane Seymour. Mulroney is represented by ICM and Jackoway, Tyerman, Wertheimer, Austen, Mandelbaum, Morris & Klein.
Sarah Hyland shows currently stars in the Emmy® -nominated hit ABC comedy “MODERN FAMILY”. She was recently cast in Lionsgate’s comedy GAY DUDE and this fall will star in the upcoming Disney Channel movie of the week “GEEK CHARMING” opposite Matt Prokop (HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3). Previous roles include ABC’s “ANNIE,” Young Audrey in “THE AUDREY HEPURN STORY,” as well as “LAW AND ORDER” and “LIPSTICK JUNGLE.” Last year, Sarah was individually nominated for a 2010 Teen Choice Award in the Breakout Female Star category and “MODERN FAMILY” has been nominated for two Teen Choice Awards in Breakout Show & TV Show: Comedy. The show also won a 2010 Emmy Award for Best Comedy, and Writing. Recently, Hyland was named Top 25 Under 25: Young Hollywood’s Brightest Television Stars by MSN. Hyland is represented by William Morris Endeavor, Richard Konigsberg Management, and Ginsburg Daniels LLP.
David Permut is producing STRUCK BY LIGHTNING, alongside Rob Aguire and Mia Chang. Colfer and his manager Glenn Rigberg will exec produce with Jason Michael Berman. Co-producing will be Permut Presentations’ Steve Longi, Camellia Entertainment’s Monica Aguirre Diez Barroso and Mark Moran. Permut is producing the Sam Kinison biopic at HBO Films with Tom Shadyac, who is also attached to direct, and a feature film based on the life of John De Lorean, written by Adam Mazer.
ICM, along with Doug Stone of Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson & Binder, LLP, represented Camellia Entertainment in the deal. Camellia Entertainment provided financing for the project. ICM will co-represent the North American sale with Traction Media.
Janney will be seen next in the DreamWorks feature THE HELP and has also completed production on the indie features THE ORANGES and LIBERAL ARTS. Colfer recently penned a pilot for the Disney Channel called “THE LITTLE LEFTOVER WITCH” based on the children’s book of the same name, and will also publish two books with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers that will be released in the summer of 2012. Colfer is repped by Coast to Coast, Inphenate, and Derek Kroeger at Felker, Toczek, Gellman, Suddleson. Janney is represented by WME and Thruline. Larry Kopeikin represented Permut in the deal.