Mary J. Blige, Lukas Haas Join Coming-of-Age Romance 'The Violent Heart' (Exclusive)

Courtesy of APA; Paul Archuleta/Getty Images
Mary J. Blige; Lukas Haas

Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen of 21 Laps produce with Tobey Maguire's Material Pictures, 3311 and Ed McDonnell.

Mary J. Blige and Lukas Haas are joining the coming-of-age romance The Violent Heart, with stars Grace Van Patten and Jovan Adepo.

Writer-director Kerem Sanga (First Girl I Loved) is behind the feature that is set just outside Nashville, Tennesse. It follows Cassie (Van Patten), a college-bound senior on the cusp of graduation, and her budding relationship with a local mechanic named Daniel (Adepo), who dreams of becoming a Marine. As they fall for each other, the details surrounding Daniel's tragic and violent past inevitably catch up with them.

Blige will play Nina, a mother who manages to hold her family together after the murder of her daughter while her Marine husband is on deployment in Afghanistan. Haas will play Cassie's attentive and protective father, Joseph, who is wary of his daughter's mysterious relationship with an older boy. Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Jahi Winston will also appear.

Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen of 21 Laps Entertainment will produce, with Jen Dana, Mark Roberts and Ross Jacobson of 3311, Matthew Plouffe and Tobey Maguire of Material Pictures, and Ed McDonnell.

Endeavor Content is handling worldwide sales.  

Blige, who earned an Oscar nomination for her role in Dee Rees' Mudbound, will next be seen Netflix series The Umbrella Academy and horror thriller Body Cam from Paramount Players. She is repped by APA.

Haas, who is repped by APA, LBI and Morris Yorn, appears in recent releases Widows from Steve McQueen and First Man from Damien Chazelle.

Sanga is repped by APA, Lit Entertainment Group and Behr Abramson.