Michael Shannon, Carla Gugino to Star in 'Wolves' (Exclusive)

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Michael Shannon, Carla Gugino

Written and directed by Bart Freundlich, the film centers on a high school basketball star struggling with a troubled homelife.

Michael Shannon and Carla Gugino will star in Wolves, an indie film to be directed by Bart Freundlich.

Newcomer Taylor John Smith will star as an 18-year-old basketball star who is being recruited by Cornell University. He seems to have it all figured out: captain of his team, a good student, has a longtime girlfriend and some good friends. But at home he's struggling with his troubled Father (Shannon) who has a gambling addiction. His mother (Gugino) tries to keep the family afloat but has done so only with great emotional and financial sacrifice.

Principal photography on the Process Media project kicks off this week in New York. Freundlich also wrote the script for the film, which is produced by Tim Perell of Process Media and Erica Steinberg, and executive produced by Bill Koenigsberg and Erika Jannotta.

"I'm getting to fulfill a dream by making this movie,” said Freundlich, who previously directed The Rebound and Trust the Man. “I'm blown away by level of talent we've assembled to bring the story to life. There are not many actors as committed to creating a sense of reality as Mike and Carla are. Their work is always powerful and fascinating to watch. They bring so much humanity to all the characters they portray."

Shannon stars in Ramin Bahrani’s upcoming release, 99 HomesPeter Sollett’s Freeheld, Jeff NicholsMidnight Special and Liza Johnson’s Elvis & Nixon in which he'll play Elvis Presley opposite Kevin Spacey. He’s repped by CAA, Wetzel Entertainment and Morris Yorn.

Gugino can be seen in theaters now in earthquake adventure film San Andreas alongside Dwayne Johnson. She also appears on Fox's critically acclaimed event series Wayward Pines, and will be seen in the upcoming HBO political satire, The Brink. She is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.

Smith will next be seen in horror film Insidious: Chapter 3, and his past credits include A Haunted House 2 and TV’s Grey’s Anatomy and Hart of Dixie. He's repped by Abrams Artist Agency and Cohen Entertainment.

Freudlich is repped by Paradigm and Schreck, Rose, Dapello & Adams.