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After weeks of ironing out budgetary concerns, Paramount is pulling the trigger on its next franchise hopeful, Monster Trucks, and is in deep casting mode.
The latest: actor-director Frank Whaley and Danny Glover are boarding the production, joining Amy Ryan and Holt McCallany in the tentpole, which is acting as the live-action debut of Chris Wedge, best known for his work Ice Age and last year’s Epic.
The studio already has deals in place with Lucas Till, the up-and-comer from X-Men who could leap into stardom with the starring role of young man who befriends a monster, and Jane Levy, the movie’s female lead.
The movie’s plot details are being kept very quiet, but it’s being described as having a Transformers-meets-Gremlins vibe and the heart of an Amblin-style movie. That should come as no surprise, as the $125 million-plus production’s most recent draft was written by Derek Connolly, known for his work on Jurassic World, the latest installment of the Jurassic Park franchise being produced by Steven Spielberg, the man who gave Amblin heart for a generation of filmgoers.
Whaley will play Till’s father, a man who’s been drifting from job to job since leaving his son a decade earlier. Glover is a man who runs a junkyard.
Producing Monster Trucks is Mary Parent.
Whaley was just seen in the indie crime drama Rob the Mob and was a key figure in Showtime’s Ray Donovan last season. He just wrapped directing his fourth feature, the indie drama Like Sunday, Like Rain. He also wrote the music-themed movie, which stars Leighton Meester, Debra Messing, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and newcomer Julian Shatkin.
Whaley is repped by APA and Thruline Entertainment. Glover is repped by ICM Partners and Kritzer Levine.
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Sterling K. Brown