Zooey Deschanel, Anton Yelchin to Star in Dark Comedy ‘The Driftless Area’

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John Hawkes, Ciaran Hinds and Alia Shawkat co-star in the project from Unified Pictures and Bron Studios

Zooey Deschanel, Anton Yelchin, John Hawkes, Ciaran Hinds and Alia Shawkat will star in Unified Pictures and Bron Studios’ dark comedy “The Driftless Area,” the companies announced Wednesday.

Adapted from award-winning author Tom Drury’s novel of the same title, “The Driftless Area” will be directed by Zachary Sluser, who co-wrote the screenplay with Drury.

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“The Driftless Area” follows enigmatic Stella (Deschanel) and Pierre (Yelchin), a quietly resourceful bartender who returns to his hometown after the death of his parents. When Pierre falls in love with Stella, he is unwittingly drawn into a circle of fate pitting him against the volatile criminal Shane (Hawkes).

The film is being produced by Unified’s Keith Kjarval and Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert in association with CW Media Finance. Sluser’s manager, Nicole Romano of Anonymous Content, will executive produce.

Principal photography is scheduled to begin on May 14 in Vancouver.

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International sales are being handled by Mimi Steinbauer’s Radiant Films, which will present the project to buyers at the Cannes Film Market in May.

CAA, which packaged “Driftless Area,” represents the film’s domestic distribution rights.

“It is a great joy to be able to bring Tom Drury’s hauntingly beautiful story to life with such profoundly talented actors, all of whom have inspired me for years,” said Sluser.

“We are quite excited about making this film as it is so darkly humorous and wrought with atmosphere and frankly, I am excited to be telling such a delicious story with some of my favorite actors,” said Kjarval.

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“Excited to see Bron and Unified team up again on what is a moving and comedic film, being brought to life by a dynamic young filmmaker Zachary Sluser,” added Gilbert.

Unified Pictures and Bron Studios recently partnered on William H. Macy‘s directorial debut “Rudderless,” which was just acquired by Paramount and Samuel Goldwyn Films for theatrical release. Yelchin, Billy Crudup and Selena Gomez star in the film, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year.

Unified’s latest film, “Loitering with Intent,” stars Sam Rockwell, Marisa Tomei and Natasha Lyonne, and had its world premiering this past Friday night at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Bron Studios is currently in production in Massachusetts on the romantic comedy “Tumbledown,” starring Jason Sudeikis, Rebecca Hall, Dianna Agron, Blythe Danner, Griffin Dunne, Joe Manganiello and Richard Masur.