Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas to Star in James Franco’s ‘Goat’ (Exclusive)

“The Interview” star is among the producers of the indie movie, which is being directed by Andrew Neel

Rising stars Ben Schnetzer (“Pride”) and Nick Jonas (“Kingdom”) are nearing deals to play brothers in “Goat,” an adaptation of Brad Land’s acclaimed memoir that Andrew Neel will direct for Killer Films and James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions, TheWrap has learned.

Neel (“King Kelly”) will direct from a script he co-wrote with Mike Roberts, based on an earlier draft by David Gordon Green.

Reeling from a terrifying assault, 19-year-old Brad Land (Schnetzer) enrolls in college with his charismatic younger brother (Jonas) and pledges the same fraternity. What happens there, in the name of “brotherhood,” tests the boy and his loyalty to his brother in brutal ways.

Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa of Killer Films will produce with Rabbit Bandini’s Franco and Vince Jolivette. John Wells will serve as executive producer. CAA, which packaged “Goat,” will represent the film’s domestic distribution rights.

Emile Hirsch had been attached to star in a previous incarnation of the project many years ago when David Gordon Green was onboard to direct, and Schnetzer is poised to be an exciting replacement. He recently starred as a young gay activist in the Golden Globe-nominated film “Pride” and wrapped Legendary’s big-budget movie “Warcraft.”

Schnetzer will soon be seen in Lone Scherfig’s collegiate thriller “The Riot Club” and as the lead in James Merendino’s “Punk’s Dead,” which is the sequel to 1998’s cult classic “SLC Punk!” He’s represented by the Gersh Agency and attorney David Weber of Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

Jonas has reinvented himself since his Disney Channel days, earning acclaim for his turn as an MMA fighter in the DirecTV series “Kingdom.” He recently wrapped Elizabeth Allen’s infidelity thriller “Careful What You Wish For.” He’s represented by CAA, manager Philip McIntyre of Philymack and attorney Rob Cohen of Carroll, Guido & Groffman.