Bateman stars as Guy Trilby, an embittered 41-year old high school dropout who enters the National Quill Spelling Bee thanks to a loophole. Even though the competition is meant for kids in eighth grade or younger, he makes it to nationals.
Janney will play the organization’s director, Dr. Bernice Deagan, who is outraged by the whole situation. Chandz will play Chaitanya, a socially awkward fellow contestant unfazed by Trilby’s antics. The two ultimately become friends. Hall will play Dr. Bowman, the head of the spelling bee group.
The project is set to begin filming this week with Bateman directing from Andrew Dodge’s script, which made the 2011 Black List.
Bateman is also producing through his Aggregate Films label along with MXN’s Mason Novick and Dark Entertainment’s Sean McKittrick and Jeff Culotta. Aggregate’s Jim Garavente and Darren Demetre and Darko’s Ted Hamm are executive producing while Gary Marcus is co-producing.