Michael Shannon, Kate Hudson, Don Johnson to Star in Literary Comedy ‘Shriver’

Da’Vine Joy Randolph also stars in the film from writer and director Michael Maren based on the novel of the same name

Michael Shannon, Kate Hudson, Don Johnson and Da’Vine Joy Randolph are set to star in a comedy called “Shriver” that is set in the literary world, it was announced Thursday.

Michael Maren is writing and directing “Shriver” based on a novel of the same name by Chris Belden. Jimmi Simpson, Zach Braff, Mark Boone, Jr. and Aja Naomi King round out the cast for the film that’s being introduced to buyers at the Cannes Virtual Market.

In “Shriver,” a small college, desperate to make a splash in the literary world, thinks they have found Shriver, a famous writer who has been in hiding for 20 years. Unfortunately, the person they have located is a different Shriver, a down-on-his-luck handyman who has never read a book in his life and has trouble telling the difference between his imagination and reality.

With nothing to lose, this Shriver accepts the invitation to attend the college’s literary festival. There he finds himself surrounded by adoring fans, an eccentric group of writers and wannabe writers and meets a professor of English who captures his heart. But things come crashing down when the “real” writer shows up to expose him, posing a threat to the college and the reputation of the English professor. But who is the real Shriver? The comedy is described as a film about imposter syndrome, mistaken identity and the difficulty of really being yourself.

The film is produced by CaliWood Pictures’ Jina Panebianco and Michael J. Reiser alongside Robert Ogden Barnum and Byron Wetzel with Lucas Jarach and Josh Kesselman also producing. Wesley R. Sierk, III, John D. Straley and Joseph Panebianco are executive producing.

Production is set to resume soon after the Covid-19 shutdown. Fortitude International is currently selling international rights and CAA Media Finance is handling domestic at Cannes.

Shannon will next be seen in the crime thriller “The Quarry.” Hudson will next be seen in “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon.” Johnson recently starred in “Knives Out” and will next be seen in Jeremy Saulnier’s “Rebel Ridge.” Randolph stars on Hulu’s “High Fidelity” and was recently in “Dolemite Is My Name” and Miranda July’s “Kajillionaire.” She’ll next appear in Lee Daniels’ “United States Vs. Billie Holiday.”

Maren is a journalist and screenwriter who has written for The Village Voice, Newsweek, The Nation, The New Republic, Harper’s, GQ and The New York Times Magazine. He has written and directed the comedy film “A Short History of Decay” starring Bryan Greenberg, Linda Lavin, Harris Yulin and Emmanuelle Chriqui.

Shannon is represented by CAA, Wetzel Entertainment Group and Morris Yorn. Hudson is represented by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.  Johnson is represented by CAA and Edelstein, Laird & Sobel. Randolph is represented by Paradigm Talent Agency and Lighthouse Entertainment and Maren is represented by Thruline Entertainment and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.