A co-production between Pohlad's River Road Entertainment and John Wells Productions, "Love & Mercy" will take an unconventional look at the life of the Beach Boys leader and explore his legendary battle with mental illness. The film will reimagine seminal moments in Wilson’s life, from his artistic genius to his profound struggles and the love that keeps him alive.
Paul Dano is attached to play Wilson as a young man, while Cusack is in negotiations to play Wilson during his later years.
Oscar-nominated producer Pohlad ("The Tree of Life") is producing with John Wells and Claire Rudnick Polstein of John Wells Productions. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Oren Moverman ("The Messenger") wrote the script and will executive produce with Jim Lefkowitz.
Oscar-winning composer Atticus Ross ("The Social Network") will work on the sound design of the film and the soundtrack.
"Love & Mercy" is in active development and will mark a return to directing for Pohlad, who after forming River Road Entertainment, wrote, directed and co-produced his first feature film "Old Explorers." He has also directed and produced a number of commercial and documentary film projects throughout the years.
Cusack has been tackling portrayals of real people of late, having recently played Edgar Allan Poe in "The Raven," serial killer Robert Hansen in "The Frozen Ground" and Richard Nixon in Lee Daniels' upcoming drama "The Butler." The CAA-repped actor also has a trio of indies in the can, including "Motel" with Robert De Niro, "Adult World" with Emma Roberts and "Grand Piano" with Elijah Wood.
River Road is currently in post-production on Steve McQueen's "Twelve Years a Slave," while John Wells Productions has "August: Osage County" coming out later this year.