The film, currently in preproduction, stars Hawke as a former military chaplain struggling with his faith after the loss of a son he encouraged to enlist in the armed forces.
He becomes even more ambivalent after befriending a parishioner (Seyfried) and her radical environmentalist husband and learning of his church’s complicity with unscrupulous corporations.
Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa of Killer Films are producing. Additional producers include Gary Hamilton and executive producer Brian Beckmann.
Arclight Films, which is financing the film and has taken on worldwide rights, is presenting it to buyers in Toronto. Financing was also arranged by David Gonzales of Northside, which represents Schrader with Johnnie Planco of Parseghian Planco.
Schrader, a two-time Oscar nominee for his screenplays for “Taxi Driver” and Raging Bull,” is currently in Toronto with his new film, the Willem Dafoe-Nicolas Cage drama “Dog Eat Dog,” which debuted in Cannes at the Directors’ Fortnight.
“‘First Reformed’ is a script I’ve been moving toward for almost 50 years,” Schrader said in a statement. “Ethan Hawke‘s image appeared to me while I was writing and he responded days after reading the script. Now we are delighted to be able to add Amanda Seyfried. These are unique performers with a special charisma.”
Hawke, a four-time Oscar nominee, is in Toronto with Antoine Fuqua‘s “The Magnificent Seven.” He’s represented by CAA, MGMT Entertainment and attorney George Sheanshang.
Seyfried, whose credits include “Mamma Mia!” and “Les Miserables,” is represented by Innovative and attorney Mike Williams.