'Flying' high: Cyrus, Rulin join indie pic


Billy Ray Cyrus and "High School Musical" star Olesya Rulin will headline Jim Amatulli's drama "Flying By," the story of a businessman who risks his marriage, family and fortune to pursue his dream of being in a rock band.

Rulin will play the supportive daughter of the businessman (Cyrus) alongside Oscar winner Patricia Neal, Robert Gossett (TNT's "The Closer"), Eric Allan Kramer ("American Wedding") and Ted Hutton in the family-friendly indie feature. Eric Abrahamson, Jonathan McHugh and Amatulli will produce for Arte Films and Encore Partners.

Neal is in final negotiations to play the mother of Cyrus' character, who teams with his bandmates (Gossett, Kramer) after being encouraged to perform by a club booker (Hutton). The film will begin shooting Nov. 26 in San Diego.

Cyrus, best known for his country hit "Achy Breaky Heart," is riding high with the Disney Channel series "Hannah Montana," starring his daughter Miley Cyrus. He's on tour promoting his new album, "Home at Last."

Rulin will be seen next year opposite Jessica Simpson in "Major Movie Star."

Amatulli wrote, directed and produced the 2003 crime drama "Artworks," starring Virginia Madsen and Rick Rossovich.

Attorney Steven C. Beer of Greenberg Traurig is repping the producers.

Cyrus is repped by CESD, Jim Morey of Morey Management Group and attorney William Sobel of Edelstein, Laird & Sobel.

Rulin is repped by WMA and Jonathan Baruch at Rain Management Group.

Neal is repped by Paradigm.