'Return' trip for McAdams, Pena, Robbins


Rachel McAdams has signed on to star in "The Return," a bittersweet drama being directed by Neil Burger.

Michael Pena and Tim Robbins also have boarded the feature, being produced by Burger, David Levien, Brian Koppelman and Rick Schwartz. Lionsgate will distribute.

Written by Burger and Dirk Wittenborn, the story revolves around three soldiers — Collee (McAdams), T.K. (Pena) and Cheever (Robbins) — who return from the Iraq War after suffering injuries and learn that life has moved on without them. They end up on an unexpected road trip across the U.S., with Collee on a mission to bring her boyfriend's guitar back to his family because he saved her life, T.K. seeking confidence to face his wife after a shrapnel injury that threatens his sexual function and middle-aged Cheever planning to hit the casinos in a desperate effort to pay for his son's college tuition.

Bill Block's QED is financing the movie, and Block also secured the distribution deal with Lionsgate. Block and partner Paul Hanson are exec producing with Adam Merims.

The company, whose "Spring Break in Bosnia" will be released this year by the Weinstein Co., is eyeing a May 1 start date for "Return," shooting on both coasts. The budget is less than $20 million.

McAdams, known for her work in "The Notebook" and "Wedding Crashers," most recently appeared in "The Family Stone." She next appears in "Married Life" opposite Pierce Brosnan and Chris Cooper. She is repped by UTA and Shelley Browning of Magnolia Entertainment and attorney Howard Fishman.

Robbins, repped by CAA, most recently appeared in "Catch a Fire."

Pena, who recently co-starred in "Crash" and "World Trade Center," next appears opposite Mark Wahlberg in Paramount Pictures' "Shooter." He is filming Robert Redford's "Lions for Lambs" opposite Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep.

Pena is repped by Innovative, Management 360 and attorney Rick Genow.