'The Book Thief' Star Ben Schnetzer Joins Arctic Drama 'The Grizzlies'

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Ben Schnetzer

Graham Yost and 'Breaking Bad' writer Moira Walley-Beckett penned the screenplay, with Frank Marshall executive producing the indie.

The Book Thief star Ben Schnetzer has snagged the lead in The Grizzlies, a feature penned by Graham Yost and Breaking Bad writer Moira Walley-Beckett, to shoot in the Arctic starting in April 2016.

Oscar-nominated producer Frank Marshall and Jake Steinfeld, founder of Major League Lacrosse, are executive producing the directorial debut for veteran Canadian producer Miranda de Pencier of Northwood Entertainment. Schnetzer will play the true-life high school teacher, Russ Sheppard, who arrives in a struggling Arctic community to start a lacrosse league.

The sports league galvanizes the town and sparks a change in the kids whose lives are transformed. Schnetzer will next be seen in Oliver Stone's Snowden, Duncan Jones' Warcraft and Andrew Neel's Goat, which bowed at Sundance.

"I'm thrilled to have the talented Ben Schnetzer on board," de Pencier said Thursday in a statement. Her Northwood Entertainment will produce alongside Zanne Devine for Pacific Northwest Pictures and Damon D'Oliveira of Filmshow Inc.

Nunavut-based producers include Stacey Aglok MacDonald and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril. "Miranda is the perfect choice to tell this hopeful and life-affirming story. We have put together a very talented team to support her vision in telling this amazing story about how one man with a simple idea and a sport can save and change lives forever," Frank Marshall said in his own statement.

Mongrel Media will release The Grizzlies in Canada. The Movie Network has the Canadian pay TV rights. 

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