by Dave McNary, published on August 18, 2016 - 03:09 PM PT|
Israeli filmmaker Tali Shalom Ezer will direct Ellen Page and Kate Mara in the romance-drama “Mercy” with shooting set to begin in Cincinnati in September.
Ezer, who made her feature debut with “Princess,” will direct from a script by Joe Barton. Amy Seimetz, Pablo Schreiber and Elias Koteas have also been cast in key roles.
Producers are Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa for Killer Films along with Page and Mara. Executive producers are Robert Halmi Jr. and Jim Reeve through their Great Point Media and Karri O’Reilly.
Page is portraying Lucy, the daughter of a man on death row falling in love with Mara’s Mercy character, a woman on the opposing side of her family’s political cause. As a result, Lucy’s value for truth is tested as her world begins to unravel.
Page first revealed the then-untitled project last year during a news conference at the Zurich Film Festival, where “Freeheld” was screening, saying, “I’m focusing mostly on stories that are meaningful to me and stories for women and supporting more gay characters.”
Page starred with Julianne Moore and produced “Freeheld” and came out during the 2014 production of the drama, which focuses on police officer Laurel Hester’s fight to allow her pension benefits to be transferred to her domestic partner after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Vachon and Hinojosa said in a statement that they were moved by “Princess,” which screened in competition last year at Sundance: “We were so enthralled by Tali’s first film and have been looking to work with Ellen and Kate for years. This is the perfect project to bring everybody together.”
UTA and WME are jointly representing domestic rights.
Page can be seen in Netflix’s “Tallulah” and A24’s “Into the Forest,” which she produced and starred in opposite Evan Rachel Wood. Credits include her Oscar-nominated role in “Juno,” “X-Men: Days of Future Passed,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Inception” and “Whip It.”
She’s producing and co-hosting the second season of Viceland’s Emmy-nominated documentary series “Gaycation,” which Page created with Vice and Spike Jonze. Viceland will release an Orlando Pulse Night Club special on Aug. 24, then start its second season on Sept. 7.
Mara starred in “Fantastic Four,” “Captive” and “The Martian” last year. Her upcoming titles include the sci-fi thriller “Morgan” for director Luke Scott, the psychological thriller “Man Down,” the drama “Leavy” with Tom Felton and Edie Falco and “Chappaquiddick,” in which she will play Mary Jo Kopechne.
Mara received an Emmy nomination for her role in “House of Cards” and portrayed a mentally unstable ghost in “American Horror Story” for FX.
Ezer’s “Princess,” which centered on a 12-year-old girl whose relationship with her mother’s boyfriend becoming sexually abusive, screened in competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It won the Grand Prix at the 2015 Kiev International Film Festival and best debut feature at the Raindance Film Festival.
Killer Films credits include “Still Alice,” “Carol,” “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Far From Heaven.” It had four films screen at Sundance this year — “Goat,” “Weiner Dog,” “Frank & Lola” and “White Girl” — and just wrapped on Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck” for Amazon Studios.
Halmi and Reeve founded Great Point Media in 2012. Halmi has over 300 production credits, including “Tin Man” and “Lonesome Dove.” Reeve’s credits include “Foyle’s War” and “On Dangerous Ground.”
Page is repped by WME. Mara and Ezer are repped by UTA.