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Steve Guttenberg, Samantha Mathis Join 'Gatsby'-esque 'Affluenza' (Exclusive)

Steve Guttenberg and Samantha Mathis - H 2012
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Coming of age story on Long Island just before the 2008 financial crisis is director Kevin Asch’s first feature since his acclaimed Sundance debut "Holy Rollers."

Steve Guttenberg and Samantha Mathis have been added to the cast of the indie movie Affluenza, the first film from director Kevin Asch since Holy Rollers, his directorial debut which starred Jesse Eisenberg. Holy Rollers was nominated for the Grand Jury prize at Sundance and won Asch the Breakthrough Director Award at the 2010 Gotham Awards.

Based on an original script by Antonio Macia, who also wrote Holy Rollers, Affluenza is a coming of age story inspired by The Great Gatsby, set in the upscale town of Great Neck, New York (Long Island) on the eve of the 2008 global financial meltdown. The movie will shoot in Great Neck on a budget under $10 million, beginning later this month.

The veteran actors join a youthful cast that includes Gregg Sukin (Wizards of Waverly Place), Nicola Peltz (The Last Airbender) and Ben Rosenfield (Greetings From Tim Buckley), who has the lead role of Fisher Miller. Grant Gustin (Glee) plays the college boyfriend of Peltz’s character.

Asch says that he was raised in Great Neck and was very moved when he read The Great Gatsby as a teenager. He says F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in Great Neck in the 1920s and his experiences there influenced the famed novel.

He sees a parallel between the boom years of the 1920s and the boom times in America before the recession hit.

“Our film explores an affluenza-infected society,” says Asch, “which, was unprepared and unwilling to accept the death of the American dream. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this personal, provocative and timely story to the screen."

Guttenberg, who moves between film, TV and theater, is best known for his roles in the Police Academy movies, 3 Men and a Baby, Short Circuit and Diner.

Mathis has most recently been in the CBS TV series NYC 22. Her credits also include American Psycho,  Broken Arrow, Buried, Touched and Order of Chaos.

The cast also includes Carla Quevedo (The Secret In Their Eyes), Valentina de Angelis (Gossip Girl), Danny Burstein (Boardwalk Empire), Adriane Lenox (Tony Award winner for Doubt), Patrick Page (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), and John Rothman (The Devil Wears Prada).

Asch will produce through his Lookbook Films (Holy Rollers) and Morris S. Levy will produce via his M.E.G.A. Films. Macia and Michael Goodin are co-producing.

Levy, a longtime resident and native of Great Neck, is also executive producer on Seduced and Abandoned, starring Alec Baldwin. His other previous films include Descent, starring Rosario Dawson and The Ten, starring Paul Rudd and Jessica Alba.

Asch and Macia are repped by Paradigm and Underground Films and Management. Guttenberg is represented by Don Buchwald & Assoc/Fortitude & Chuck Binder. Mathis is represented by Paradigm & The Schiff Company.