Ed Asner will star as an irascible defense lawyer in "The Doppelganger Principle," an independent courtroom drama that begins shooting in Alaska in October.
The movie is about a lawyer who takes on the case of a man accused of being a serial killer. The accused killer claims innocence, but DNA evidence indicates otherwise.
Asner told TheWrap he was fascinated by the science in the story.
"I had no knowledge of DNA — that it could be replicated or doctored to resemble someone else's," he said. "And I loved the thought of doing the role because it's a great role, a very cocky-legged older lawyer who's a pain-in-the-ass to the judge and there's room for wheeling and dealing in it."
Asner also stars as the billionaire Warren Buffett in HBO's "Too Big to Fail."
"The Doppelganger Principle" is written by James E. McLain, a retired lawyer in Alaska.
The film's director, Ron Holstrom, told TheWrap that, "We discovered this guy here recently, this retired lawyer, and originally I was … acting in another film and he sent me this great spy thriller," Holstrom said.
The problem was, the spy thriller would cost something like $35 million to make.
"I said, 'If you've got anything around a million, let's talk, so he starts sending me pieces of this script."
Holstrom liked it and optioned it immediately.
"A friend of ours got it to Ed and he called me immediately upon reading it and said, 'Man, this is terrific. I want to play this guy.'"
The rest of the cast and crew comes from Alaska.
Diane Benson, who recently starred as the civil rights activist Elizabeth Petratovich in PBS's "For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska," also stars.
Jan Welt and Tiffani Guinn are producing.
The movie is Holstrom's first feature as a director.