Donald Sutherland to Star in 'Milton's Secret' Film Adaptation (Exclusive)

Donald Sutherland
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Hunger Games is getting political with Donald Sutherland as President Snow. In Collins' novel, the president is described as "cruel and ruthless in his intimidation and control tactics," ruling over Panem and its contained districts for 25-plus years. He and Katniss have a contentious relationship throughout the series.

Lionsgate's big-screen version of The Hunger Games will be directed by Gary Ross and will be released in theaters March 23, 2012.

The veteran actor, who plays tyrant Coriolanus Snow in the 'Hunger Games' franchise, has joined the big-screen treatment of Eckhart Tolle's kids novel.

Donald Sutherland, the tyrannical enemy of Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games franchise, is to turn good guy in the upcoming film adaptation of Milton's Secret, based on the children's novel by Eckhart Tolle and Robert Friedman.

The veteran actor replaces Peter Fonda, who was previously attached to the project. Sutherland will play the grandfather of the story's central character, Milton, a young boy who is dealing with being bullied in school and discovers that his obsession with preteen fears prevent him from finding true happiness.

Shooting on the $5 million movie is set to begin this fall in southern Ontario. Barnet Bain, a producer on What Dreams May Come and Homeless to Harvard, will direct the family drama, which he wrote with Donald Martin and Sara B. Cooper.

Buck Productions, Riverside Entertainment and Hulo Films will produce. Stephen Huszar, Ryan Lockwood, Sean Buckley and Fred Fuchs will share the producer credits.

The long-gestating coming-of-age film project started with Bain acquiring the screen rights to Tolle's first work of fiction after the publication of his best-selling nonfiction books The Power of Now and A New Earth. With Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra among his fans, Tolle is a spiritual teacher and author whose work has been read in 40 languages and 100 countries worldwide.