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Gus Van Sant film keeps it in the family

Henry Hopper, Schuyler Fisk join drama

The casting process of Columbia and Imagine's untitled Gus Van Sant drama is keeping with the project's familial theme.

The feature, on which Bryce Dallas Howard is teaming with father Ron Howard to produce with Brian Grazer, is opening its arms to Dennis Hopper's son Henry Hopper, who will star opposite Mia Wasikowska.

Schuyler Fisk, daughter of Sissy Spacek, also is boarding the movie, as are Chin Han, Ryo Kase and Jane Adams.

The drama, formerly known as "Restless," revolves around a teenage boy and girl (Wasikowska) who share a preoccupation with mortality.

In his first starring role, Hopper is playing the boy, who is trying to get over the death of his parents. Fisk will play Wasikowska's sister.

Chin Han plays a doctor treating Wasikowska, and Kase is a spirit of a World War II kamikaze pilot who regularly visits the boy. Adams plays the boy's aunt.

The movie begins production today in Portland, Ore., a favorite locale of Van Sant's; he shot 1989's "Drugstore Cowboy" and 1991's "My Own Private Idaho" there.

Rookie scribe Jason Lew, who attended film school with the younger Howard, penned the screenplay, developing it from a play he wrote.

"It captures the profoundly defining turning point of a young person's life with stark realism, irreverent humor and intense emotion," Bryce Dallas Howard said of the story. "I think that Gus was drawn to this story because he has an uncanny ability to convey the complexities of youth and outsiders, and this is, above all else, the journey of an outsider."

Hopper's only acting credit is "Kiss & Tell," in which he appeared at age 6. He was set to star in Wes Craven's "My Soul to Take" but had to bow out when he contracted mononucleosis.

Fisk, repped by CAA, most recently appeared in the 2006 indie film "I'm Reed Fish" with Jay Baruchel.

Chin Han, a veteran actor-producer in his native Singapore, might be best known in the English-speaking world for playing gangster Lau in "The Dark Knight." He next appears in Roland Emmerich's "2012," which opens today. The actor is repped by Echelon Talent and Untitled Entertainment.

Kase has numerous acting credits in his native Japan and appeared in Clint Eastwood's "Letters From Iwo Jima." Adams, repped by Framework Entertainment, appears in HBO's "Hung."