New cast helps Ruffalo rally


Mark Ruffalo's "Sympathy for Delicious" is coming back together.

The indie feature, which is serving as Ruffalo's directorial debut and was to have had James Franco in the cast, fell into limbo after the December death of Ruffalo's brother, Scott.

The project is now back on track, with Orlando Bloom and Laura Linney among the leads. Production begins next week in Los Angeles.

The story, written by Christopher Thornton, follows a paralyzed DJ, struggling to survive on the streets of L.A., who turns to faith healing and mysteriously develops the ability to cure the sick — though not himself. The DJ then decides to cash in on his gift in exchange for his rock 'n' roll dreams.

Bloom, taking over for Franco, will play the frontman of a tough-as-nails rock band. Linney plays the band's manager working hard to stay relevant in a 21st century musical world.

Thornton, a theater actor who is paralyzed from the waist down, is playing the DJ, and Ruffalo plays a priest.

Corner Store Entertainment is co-financing the film, with the company's Matt Weaver and Scott Prisand producing along with Andrea Sperling, Ruffalo and Thornton.

Joanne Jacobson, Barry Habib and Robert Stein are exec producing.

Kimmel International, headed by Mark Lindsay, will handle international sales of the film and introducing it to buyers at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Keeping his nose to the indie grindstone since the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, Bloom, repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, will next appear in the shorts omnibus "New York, I Love You."

Linney, repped by ICM and Brillstein, is coming off a Golden Globe win for her work in HBO's "John Adams." She and Ruffalo first worked together in "You Can Count on Me." (partialdiff)