Worldwide Entertainment announced today that they will finance and produce director David Gordon Green’s (Pineapple Express) gritty, southern drama Joe. Moreover, Nicolas Cage has been cast in the lead role of Joe, an ex-con who “becomes the unlikeliest of role models to 15 year old Gary Jones, the oldest child of a homeless family ruled by a drunk, worthless father.” The story takes place in small town Mississippi and is based on the book of the same name by Larry Brown. Green’s Eastbound and Down cohorts Danny McBride and Jody Hill will executive produce the adaptation.
Hit the jump for more, including an update on Green’s Suspiria remake.
Though Green is probably best known for his comedies like Pineapple Express and Your Highness, his career initially took off due to the success of his drama George Washington. He’s been getting back to his dramatic roots as of late, as he recently wrapped filming the low-budget comedy Prince Avalance with Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch and was next set to direct a remake of the horror film Suspiria.
Casting on that film was underway with a fall 2012 start date looming, but the press release for Joe notes that production on the southern drama begins in early November in Texas. We have no confirmation that Suspiria is dead, but it sounds like production plans for that film have been postponed and Joe will be his next directorial feature. Hopefully we heard firm word on the horror update soon. In the meantime, read the Joe press release below.
September 7, 2012 (Toronto, Canada) – Worldview Entertainment, a leading independent motion picture production and investment company, will finance and produce David Gordon Green’s (“Pineapple Express”) gritty, southern drama, “Joe,” starring Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage. “Joe” is written by Gary Hawkins, based on the novel of the same title by Larry Brown. Lisa Muskat, David Gordon Green and Worldview CEO, Christopher Woodrow, will produce alongside Derrick Tseng. Worldview’s Molly Conners, Maria Cestone, Sarah Johnson Redlich and Hoyt David Morgan will executive produce alongside Brad Coolidge, Melissa Coolidge and Todd Labarowski for Dreambridge Films, which is making an investment in the film. Jody Hill and Danny McBride will also executive produce for Rough House.
Principal photography is scheduled to begin in early November in Texas. London-based WestEnd Films will handle international sales and introduce the film to foreign buyers this week at the Toronto International Film Festival. CAA, which packaged and arranged financing for “Joe,” represents the film’s domestic distribution rights.
“Joe” is the story of an ex-con who becomes the unlikeliest of role models to 15 year old Gary Jones, the oldest child of a homeless family ruled by a drunk, worthless father. Together they try to find a path to redemption and the hope for a better life in the rugged, dirty world of small town Mississippi.
David Gordon Green said: “When Larry Brown wrote the novel ‘Joe,’ he instantly created an iconic character of contemporary Southern literature. It is with great excitement that I’ve been able to work with Nicolas Cage to design an absolute and unexpected performance piece that is woven from the darkness, beauty, humor and environment of this material.”
“Joe’ is an elevated and unapologetic drama that has great potential creatively and commercially,” said Worldview CEO, Christopher Woodrow. “David and Nic are the perfect team to put this on the big screen and we look forward to sharing in their success.”
Worldview is currently in pre-production on Eli Roth’s much anticipated return to directing with horror thriller, “The Green Inferno,” and announced yesterday that it is financing and producing Ti West’s horror thriller, “The Sacrament,” presented by Roth. In addition, the company wrapped two films this summer: Guillaume Canet’s crime thriller, “Blood Ties,” starring Academy Award® nominee Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis and Academy Award® nominee James Caan; and Academy Award® nominee Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three biopic, “Devil’s Knot,” starring Academy Award® winners Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon.
Worldview is currently in post-production on James Gray’s untitled epic period drama starring Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard and Academy Award® nominees Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner. The company’s British action thriller, “Welcome to the Punch,” from BAFTA® nominee Eran Creevy, starring James McAvoy, Mark Strong and Andrea Riseborough was sold to IFC Films, which will make its theatrical debut March 15, 2013. Worldview’s black comedy, “Killer Joe,” from Academy Award® winner William Friedkin, starring Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Academy Award® nominee Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple and Gina Gershon is currently in theaters.