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Dano to Star as Young Brian Wilson in Pohlad's 'Love & Mercy'

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by Anne Thompson
January 17, 2013 8:04 PM
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Paul Dano in 2012's "Ruby Sparks"

"The Tree of Life" producer Bill Pohlad has been planning to direct a second film for some time. Now he's cast Paul Dano ("Ruby Sparks") as the young Brian Wilson in Oren Moverman's script, "Love and Mercy." The film picks key moments in Wilson's life, with and without the Beach Boys, through the decades. Pohlad is seeking an actor to play the older Wilson as well.

"The Social Network" composer Atticus Ross is in talks to design the score and sound for the film, which will include music by Wilson, who is cooperating with the project.

"I am thrilled that Paul Dano has signed on to play me during one of my most creative explosions and most fulfilling musical times in my career,” said Brian Wilson. “I still can't believe how cool it is that my life will be portrayed on the big screen and to have Bill Pohlad as the captain of the Sloop John B is amazing! It just makes me feel so humble. I can't wait to see it with a full tub of buttered popcorn."  

John Wells and Claire Rudnick Polstein of John Wells Productions will produce along with River Road's Pohlad, who before forming River Road Entertainment, wrote, directed and co-produced his first feature film, "Old Explorers," starring Jose Ferrer and James Whitmore, and started out his career producing and directong commercials and documentaries inclsing profiles of Prince, the late Hall of Fame baseball player Kirby Puckett, and Irish theater director Joe Dowling.

Next up for Dano is Steve McQueen’s "Twelve Years a Slave"; he is currently filming Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners" with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

As for Wells, he directed the film version of the play "August: Osage County," from Tracy Letts’ script, starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Ewan McGregor, which Weinstein will release in 2013.

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