André Holland & Gemma Chan To Topline Anomalisa Helmer Duke Johnsons Neon Pic The Actor

André Holland (Passing) and Gemma Chan (Don’t Worry Darling) will top Neon‘s The Actor, the second feature (and first in live-action) from Oscar-nominated Anomalisa helmer Duke Johnson, which has wrapped production. Holland takes over the male lead from Ryan Gosling, who was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts but remains aboard the project as an executive producer.

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The film scripted by Johnson and Stephen Cooney is based on the bestselling novel Memory by Donald E. Westlake and tells the story of actor Paul Cole (Holland), who finds himself stranded in 1950s Ohio, suffering from severe memory loss after a brutal attack, struggling to find his way back to his life in New York and reclaim what he has lost. 

Additional cast set for the film includes Tracey Ullman (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Toby Jones (Empire of Light), Simon McBurney (Wolfwalkers) and Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders). Johnson and Abigail Spencer produced under their Innerlight Films banner alongside Paul Young for Make Good and Waypoint Entertainment’s Ken Kao. Johnson’s Anomalisa collaborator Charlie Kaufman joins Gosling as an exec producer. The project is the latest to team Gosling and Kao, who are also both aboard Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Project Hail Mary at MGM, and Leigh Whannell’s Wolfman at Universal.  

Most recently appearing in Luca Guadagnino’s MGM cannibal pic Bones and All and Rebecca Hall’s feature directorial debut Passing for Netflix, Holland has also previously been seen in Barry Jenkins’ Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight, and such other notable film titles as High Flying Bird, A Wrinkle in Time, Selma and 42. The actor is known on the TV side for turns in The Eddy, Castle Rock, American Horror Story, The Knick and more. 

Recently appearing in such major films as Don’t Worry Darling, Disney/Marvel’s Eternals, Let Them All Talk, Captain Marvel and Crazy Rich Asians, Chang will next star alongside Allison Janney and John David Washington in 20th’s Gareth Edwards pic True Love and an upcoming Crazy Rich Asians spin-off at Warner Bros. Alongside Working Title and producer Nina Yang Bongiovi, she’s also currently developing a feature about legendary Hollywood actress Anna May Wong, which she will star in and exec produce. Also coming up for Chan as an EP is The Moon Represents My Heart, a limited series at Netflix from 21 Laps.

Neon took its most recent in-house production, Brandon Cronenberg’s sci-fi horror Infinity Pool, to the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals earlier this year, more recently unveiling its horror title It Lives Inside at SXSW, where it won the Midnighters Audience Award. The company is also coming off of six Academy Award nominations split between its Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness, the documentaries All the Beauty and the Bloodshed and Fire of Love, and Irish Best International Film entry, The Quiet Girl.

Holland is repped by WME and Anonymous Content; Chan by WME, Independent Talent Group and M88.

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