Cameras started rolling today in Charleston, SC on Little Red Wagons, an inspirational tale of a pint-sized philanthropist directed by David Anspaugh (Rudy, Hoosiers). In the film, eight-year-old Tampa resident Zach Bonner founds “the Little Red Wagon Foundation and creates ‘Zach Packs,’ backpacks filled with life’s bare essentials – plus a toy, to show homeless kids that someone cares about them.” Awww.
The cast includes Chandler Canterbury (Knowing), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Frances O’Connor (Artificial Intelligence: AI), Daveigh Chase (Big Love) and newcomer Dylan Matzke. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Here’s the official press release:
CAMERAS ROLL ON “LITTLE RED WAGON” TO STAR
CHANDLER CANTERBURY, ANNA GUNN, FRANCES O’CONNOR,
DYLAN MATZKE & DAVEIGH CHASE
Feature Film Inspired by Extraordinary Kid Philanthropist Zach Bonner
Charleston, SC (May 24, 2010) – Principal photography begins today in Charleston, SC on Little Red Wagon, based on the life of Zach Bonner, whose efforts on behalf of America’s homeless youth began when he was six years old. The film stars Chandler Canterbury, Anna Gunn, Frances O’Connor, Dylan Matzke and Daveigh Chase. Directed by David Anspaugh (Rudy, Hoosiers) from an original screenplay by Patrick Sheane Duncan (Mr. Holland’s Opus), the film is a Michael Guillen Production, presented by Philanthropy Project. Executive producers are Steve Golin and Barbara Kelly. Producers are David Kanter and best-selling author and three-time Emmy winner Dr. Michael Guillen.
Little Red Wagon spotlights Zach Bonner (Chandler Canterbury), an eight-year-old boy living in Tampa, Florida with his realtor mother Laurie (Anna Gunn) and 16-year-old sister Kelley (Daveigh Chase). In the wake of Hurricane Charley, Zach uses his toy wagon to collect water, food and clothing for families made homeless by the storm. The experience ignites something deep within Zach, which leads him to found the Little Red Wagon Foundation and create “Zach Packs,” backpacks filled with life’s bare essentials – plus a toy, to show homeless kids that someone cares about them. Zach’s life intersects with that of newly widowed Margaret Craig (Frances O’Connor) and her young son Jim (Dylan Matzke), whose series of middle-class hardships spiral out of control and land them in shelters. Meanwhile, Zach strikes upon the idea of walking from Tampa to Tallahassee to bring help and hope to homeless youth, but must overcome bureaucrats, blisters, and a crumbling family dynamic in order to fulfill his goal.
Eleven-year-old Chandler Canterbury recently starred in the Summit Entertainment thriller Knowing, opposite Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne; and in Repo Men, opposite Jude Law, Forest Whitaker and Liev Schreiber. Prior to wrapping a lead role in the psychological thriller After.Life, opposite Liam Neeson and Christina Ricci, he portrayed the eight-year-old Benjaminin The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for director David Fincher. He won a 2008 Young Artist Award for his guest performance on the CBS hit series “Criminal Minds.” Canterbury is represented by United Talent Agency and Global Creative.
Anna Gunn co-stars opposite Bryan Cranston on AMC’s Emmy-winning series “Breaking Bad.” Her television credits include roles on “NYPD Blue,” “The Practice” and HBO’s “Deadwood,” several made-for-TV movies and guest starring appearances on such hit shows as “Six Feet Under,” “ER” and “Seinfeld.” Her work in feature film includes Without Evidence, co-starring Angelina Jolie; Nobody’s Baby, co-starring Gary Oldman and Mary Steenburgen; and Enemy of the State, opposite Jon Voight. Gunn is represented by Gregg Klein at AKA and Christian Donatelli at The Schiff Company.
Frances O’Connor, nominated for a Golden Globe for her starring role in the PBS telefilm “Madame Bovary,” is also critically acclaimed for such television work as the recent ABC dramatic series “Cashmere Mafia.” In film, she starred in Miramax’s Mansfield Park, based on the novel by Jane Austen, opposite Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley; in Bedazzled, with Haley Joel Osment; in Steven Spielberg’s AI, opposite Rupert Everett, Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon; in The Importance of Being Ernest, with Nicolas Cage; in Windtalkers; in Richard Donner’s Timeline; and in the forthcoming sci-fi film Ice, among other projects. O’Connor is managed by Rob Marsala at Global Creative.
Steve Younger of Myman Abell negotiated the agreements on behalf of the principal cast.
“Zach is the most extraordinary ordinary child I’ve ever met,” says Guillen, “and the extraordinary talents of our director, writer, cast, and crew are bringing his story to life on the big screen in a way that is sure to renew your confidence in the goodness of the human spirit and have movie audiences cheering everywhere – especially during this challenging time in our history.”
Zach Bonner, a recipient of the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award and profiled on “Good Morning America,” founded the Tampa-based Little Red Wagon Foundation (www.LRWF.org) in 2005, at age seven. Its mission: to help improve the lives of children who are homeless and in distress, “one wagon full at a time” and to encourage kids everywhere to make a difference.
In November 2007, Zach began a 1,125-mile-long walk, from “My House to the White House,” on behalf of the 1.3 million homeless kids in America. He began by going from his hometown of Tampa to Tallahassee. The next fall, he continued the journey by walking from Tallahassee to Atlanta. In Summer 2009, he completed the effort by walking 668 miles from Atlanta to Washington, DC, where he met with U.S. Senators and Representatives. He is currently in the
midst of his most ambitious walk, “March Across America,” traveling nearly 2,500 miles from Tampa to Los Angeles (www.MarchAcrossAmerica.com).
Philanthropy Project, which launched in October 2007 through an unprecedented grant from the John Templeton Foundation (www.templeton.org), is a not-for-profit initiative committed to using the power of the moving image to inspire every American man, woman, and child to be a philanthropist. Focusing on the good works supported by our nation’s 72,000 charitable foundations, Philanthropy Project is telling remarkable stories of America’s spirit of generosity through film, television and the Internet. It has partnered with AOL to create an unprecedented web TV channel, www.GiveandGlow.com.