By Simon Dang | The Playlist August 11, 2011 at 11:39AM
Looks like Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep" is beginning to take shape with the veteran actor-director now adding the experienced trio of Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie and Richard Jenkins to a cast that already features Shia LaBeouf, Nick Nolte and rising star Brit Marling.
Redford will helm the picture from a script written by semi-regular Soderbergh collaborator Lem Dobbs ("Kafka," "The Limey" & "Haywire"). The story is based on a novel by Neil Gordon, centering on a former Weather Underground militant wanted by the FBI for 30 years, who must go on the run when his true identity is exposed by a young, ambitious reporter hell-bent on making a name for himself. Redford and LaBeouf will play the former militant and the reporter respectively with the new additions Sarandon and Christie playing fellow underground members. Jenkins is set to star as a college professor with links to the underground group. No word just yet on what role Nolte is taking on.
With Dobbs on board, we're hoping for the taut action-thriller the premise seems to promises but, at the same, it does sound like a deeper, thoughtful project in the vein of Redford's last effort, "The Conspirator." On very delayed international press for his last effort, Redford recently revealed he has "always been interested in the America I grew up in and looking at the changes and the threats to individuality and the role of corporations and so forth - the power they have over the individual."
''If we were to look at history and try to learn from it rather than forgetting about it, we might not have these patterns that keep repeating themselves,'' he added. "If you look at what's going on now in America, you can see why: we don't have a political system that's thriving, we have a political system that's broken.'' Surely, "The Company You Keep" is the perfect platform for him to explore these ideas.
As well as acting and directing duties, Redford is also producing along side Bill Holderman and Nicolas Chartier ("The Hurt Locker") with Craig J. Flores executive producing. Lensing begins next month in Vancouver. [Deadline]