Art patron: Harden joins 'Cottage' cast

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Marcia Gay Harden will star in Lionsgate's "The Christmas Cottage," based on the life of American painter Thomas Kinkade and his painting of the same name.

Harden will play Thomas Kinkade's mother, Maryanne. Also starring are Jared Padalecki, who will play Kinkade, and Peter O'Toole, who will play Glen Wessler, based on one of Kinkade's mentors. Michael Campus will direct the film, which goes into production this month in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.

The film, planned for a holiday release, is part of an intended three-picture deal between Lionsgate and Kinkade. The next two films would be based on other paintings and reflect different points in Kinkade's life.

"Cottage" also will be produced by the Firm and Kinkade's Birch label. Producers are Thomas and Nanette Kinkade, the Firm's Julie Yorn, and Michael and Arla Dietz Campus.

Harden won an Academy Award in 2001 for her role in "Pollock" and earned a second nomination in 2004 for "Mystic River." She will appear in the upcoming "The Invisible," directed by David Goyer, and Paramount Vantage's "Into the Wild," helmed by Sean Penn.

She is repped by CAA and Framework.
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