Ealy rolls 'Seven' for Col

'Cell' star to play Smith's brother

Michael Ealy has joined the cast of "Seven Pounds," Columbia's drama starring Will Smith.

Gabriele Muccino, who directed Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness," is helming, with Escape Artists and Smith's Overbrook Entertainment producing.

The story by Grant Nieporte follows a suicidal IRS agent (Smith) who sets out to make amends by assuming the identity of his younger brother. His plans get complicated when he inadvertently falls in love. Rosario Dawson and Woody Harrelson are in the cast as well.

Smith handpicked Ealy, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance on Showtime's "Sleeper Cell," to play the younger brother.

Ealy most recently wrapped a starring turn in Spike Lee's World War II epic "Miracle at St. Anna," based on the true story of four black soldiers who risk their lives to save an Italian boy while in enemy territory. He just finished a turn as Malcolm X in the upcoming historical docu-miniseries "The People Speak," based on Howard Zinn's book.

Ealy is repped by WMA, Epidemic and attorney Matt Johnson.