'McLean Boys' ride into feature

8:47 AM PST 05/17/2010 by Jay A. Fernandez, AP

Brendan Gleeson, Donald Sutherland tapped to star

CANNES -- Brendan Gleeson and Donald Sutherland will star in Soapbox Prods. and Minds Eye Entertainment's "The McLean Boys."

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Writer-director Charles Martin Smith ("Stone of Destiny") will helm the action-adventure film, a real-life story of Canadian outlaws who nearly incited a native uprising in 1879 British Columbia. Nick Orchard and Ian Weir, a B.C. native who wrote the screenplay, are producing the project, which is scheduled to begin filming on location in July.

The Little Film Co. is repping global sales in Cannes.

Sutherland will play the father of the three McLean boys, all the product of their father's mixed-race marriage with a Shuswap native. After a tragic chain of events, they end up on the run, being chased by a posse of 100 men led by Gleeson's Justice of the Peace. In the process of fighting for their lives, the McLean Gang stirs the native population to possible revolt.

The producers are currently searching for young talent to fill out the roles of the brothers.

"This is a rich, gripping tale that is both historical and astonishingly contemporary," Orchard said. "It has powerful and unsettling implications for who we are and how we live, right now."

The CAA-repped Sutherland recently appeared in "Fool's Gold," "Reign Over Me" and "An American Haunting." He will next appear in Focus Features' "Eagle of the Ninth," which will be released in September.

Repped by The Agency and Principal Entertainment, Gleeson recently starred in "Green Zone," "In Bruges" and "Beowulf." He will reprise his role of Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody in the two parts of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which Warner Bros. will release in November 2010 and July 2011.

Also an actor, the APA-repped Smith wrote and directed "The Snow Walker" and directed "Air Bud" and "Trick or Treat."

Minds Eye is currently in pre-production on the French/Canadian co-production "Faces in the Crowd," starring Mila Jovovich, and the company has the features "Ticket Out" with Ray Liotta and "Lullaby for Pi" with Forest Whitaker in the works. The company produced "Dolan's Cadillac."

Launched five years ago, The Little Film Co. recently repped sales on Michael Hoffman's "The Last Station" and Gavin Hood's "Tsotsi." The company recently signed on to rep Fred Schepisi's "Eye of the Storm" and the adaptation of the best-selling novel "Spud," which completed principal photography last week in Durban.
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