Rising young stars Kenny Wormald ("Footloose") and Jake Abel ("The Host") will respectively play Dennis Wilson and Mike Love in "Love & Mercy," director Bill Pohlad's indie movie about the Beach Boys' troubled frontman Brian Wilson, TheWrap has learned.
A co-production between Pohlad's River Road Entertainment and John Wells Productions, "Love & Mercy" will take an unconventional look at Brian Wilson's life and explore his legendary battle with mental illness, as well as the love that keeps him alive.
John Cusack and Paul Dano star as Wilson during different points in his remarkable life. Paul Giamatti co-stars as Wilson's manipulative therapist, Dr. Eugene Landy, while Elizabeth Banks will play Melinda Ledbetter, who helped Wilson find the road to recovery.
Dennis Wilson was a singer and drummer in The Beach Boys, while fellow founding member Love was the Wilson brothers' cousin who has served as the group's primary lyricist for decades.
Pohlad and John Wells are producing with Claire Rudnick Polstein, while Ann Ruark and Jim Lefkowitz will executive produce with Oren Moverman, who also wrote the script. Oscar winner Atticus Ross ("The Social Network") will provide the soundtrack.
After starring in "Footloose," Wormald has been busy on the indie circuit, having recently wrapped John Stockwell's drug drama "Kid Cannabis." In addition to producing and starring in Electus' hit web series "Massholes," Wormald has wrapped the indies "Cavemen" with Camilla Belle, "God Only Knows" with Harvey Keitel and "The Living" with Fran Kranz. He's repped by UTA, manager Jared Schwartz and lawyer PJ Shapiro.
Abel, who beat out plenty of competition for the role of Ian opposite Saoirse Ronan in "The Host," will soon be seen reprising his role as Luke in "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters." He co-starred in "I Am Number Four" and has also wrapped the WWII movie "Ghosts of the Pacific" with Tom Felton and Garret Dillahunt. He's repped by CAA and manager Cynthia Campos-Greenberg of Water Street Anthem Entertainment.