Seven-year-old newcomer Melody Hurd, who once appeared on Ellen DeGeneres‘ talk show following a viral video, has been cast as Kevin Hart‘s daughter in Sony’s dramedy Fatherhood, Collider has exclusively learned.
Paul Weitz is set to direct the adaptation of Matthew Logelin’s book Two Kisses for Maddy, in which Logelin’s wife dies shortly after childbirth, leaving him to raise their daughter on his own. Dana Stevens (Safe Haven) adapted the book, and Weitz penned the current draft of the screenplay.
Producers include Marty Bowen of Temple Hill, Peter Kiernan of Free Association and former Sony exec David Beaubaire. Hart will also produce under his HartBeat banner, and Fatherhood is shaping up to be the actor’s next project following Sony’s Jumanji sequel.
Melody and her older sister Lyric Hurd first gained attention thanks to a viral video in which they dance to Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall‘s hit song “Juju On That Beat.” The video earned them an invitation to appear on The Ellen Degeneres Show, which led to plenty of commercial and print work, including a spot for JetBlue. The sisters also appear together in Noah Baumbach‘s upcoming film starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. Those are some big names, for sure, but Fatherhood represents a big break for Hurd, considering it’s the co-lead in a studio movie. Meanwhile, Hart has lent his voice to several animated movies, but he doesn’t have a ton of experience acting opposite children, so this should present an exciting new challenge for the actor. Weitz is no stranger to working with kids, having cast Nicholas Hoult in his breakout role in About a Boy.
Melody most recently wrapped Patrick Lussier‘s feature film Trick, in which she stars alongside Omar Epps. She is represented by Buchwald and Teri B Talent Management in New York.