Michael Pitt and Ryan Simpkins have joined the cast of “The First,” a feature film about the life of iconic screen star Mary Pickford that is set to shoot in 2013, the Toronto International Film Festival announced on Thursday.
Pitt (pictured) has been cast as Owen Moore, Pickford’s first husband, and Simpkins will play a young Mary Pickford. The adult Pickford will be played by Lily Rabe, as previously reported.
“The First” is being produced by Julie Pacino and Jennifer DeLia’s Poverty Row Entertainment. DeLia is directing.
Pickford was born in Toronto, and the Toronto International Film Festival will host an opening night party on Sept. 6 with the filmmakers from “The First” to celebrate the actress and the feature.
Rare footage of the actress from the Pickford Foundation archives will be on display during the celebration. Cameron Bailey, TIFF's artistic director, got to know the filmmakers whilst they were in Toronto with the film “Billy Bates.”
“We met a couple of times in TIFF Bell Lightbox while our Mary Pickford exhibition was on,” Cameron said in a statement. “By chance the (filmmakers) checked out the show, learned that Pickford was born a Toronto girl and before you know it I hear they’re working on a movie about her. I love that our Pickford show was the spark that got this movie off the ground.”