'Ceremony' for two actors

Comedy has Angarano on board, Eisenberg circling

Michael Angarano has signed on and Jesse Eisenberg is in negotiations to star in "Ceremony," a comedy from NALA Films on which Max Winkler is making his feature directorial debut. Jason Reitman and Daniel Dubiecki are exec producing.

The indie film, which is being produced by Darlene Caamano Loquet and Emilio Diez Barroso along with former Warner Independent Pictures president Polly Cohen Johnsen and Matt Spicer, is very much of the Next Gen mold: Winkler is the son of actor Henry Winkler, and Reitman is the Oscar-nominated filmmaker son of Ivan Reitman.

Also written by Winkler, the comedy follows a young man (Eisenberg) who falls hard for an older woman about to be married. The infatuation prompts him to take along his unwitting friend (Angarano) to a beach town in an effort to break up the wedding. Upon arriving, the young men quickly realize just how out of place they are among the stately British groom-to-be and his guests.

Winkler, repped by UTA and Principato/Young, has been typing out a screenwriting career for himself. He recently co-wrote with Spicer, his writing partner, and Jonah Hill "The Adventurer's Handbook," which was picked up in February by Universal. He also directed the mockumentary "Clark and Michael," the Web series starring Michael Cera and Clark Duke.

For his feature debut, Winkler wanted to write something that was "part of myself," he said, tonally funny and sad at the same time but of manageable scale. He showed it to Reitman, a family friend with whom he and Spicer had set up two projects at Fox Searchlight, including "The Ornate Anatomy of Living Things."

"Jason encouraged me to write this movie," Winkler said. "His company works with first-time filmmakers and he's really taken me under his wing. It's nice to have somebody who has been there before and can help you with the anxiety and questions."

Production is due to start this fall, with casting under way for the other roles.

NALA, which was behind Paul Haggis' "The Valley of Elah" and the ensemble movie "The Air I Breath," is financing the film. The company is in post on "Shelter," starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and is developing "Disconnect," a thriller that Marc Forster is directing.

UTA-repped Angarano most recently starred in David Gordon Green's "Snow Angels" opposite Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale and "The Forbidden Kingdom" opposite Jackie Chan and Jet Li. He reteams with Rockwell for Fox Searchlight's "Gentlemen Broncos."

ICM-repped Eisenberg starred in "Adventureland" and "The Education of Charlie Banks" and next stars opposite Woody Harrelson in Columbia's fall horror comedy "Zombieland."
comments powered by Disqus