Gael Garcia Bernal to Join Matthew McConaughey in 'The Dallas Buyer's Club' (Exclusive)

Gael Garcia Bernal Portrait - P 2012
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Gael Garcia Bernal Portrait - P 2012

Hilary Swank has dropped out of the drama from Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee.

Gael Garcia Bernal is in talks to join Matthew McConaughey in The Dallas Buyer's Club.

The drama from Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee (The Young Victoria) had been shopped in Cannes as a McConaughey-Hilary Swank vehicle, but Swank has since dropped out.

Inspired by real-life events, the story centers on Ron Woodroof (McConaughey), a Texas electrician diagnosed with AIDS who began smuggling alternative drugs into the U.S. to help himself and other AIDS patients. His actions put him on a collision course with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which was bent on keeping the drugs out of the country.

In a showy role, Garcia Bernal will play an effeminate member of the club, a fellow AIDS patient who meets Woodroof in the hospital.

Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack adapted Woodroof’s story for the screen.

Robbie Brenner (Machine Gun Preacher) is producing with Rachel Rothman-Winter and former ICM agent Nathan Ross.

The producers are eyeing a November start date in New Orleans.

CAA is repping the film for North American distribution.

Garcia Bernal, whose recent credits include Casa de mi Padre and A Little Bit of Heaven, is drawing awards-season buzz for his star turn in Sony Pictures Classics' No, about an ad executive who comes up with a campaign to defeat Augusto Pinochet in Chile's 1988 referendum. The film will be Chile's official entry for the foreign-language Oscar.

He is repped by WME.