The call sheet for David M. Rosenthal‘s next feature film, The Smack has not only lengthened but includes some industry heavyweights. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Academy Award winners, Alan Arkin and Kathy Bates, as well as, multi-hyphenate Teyana Taylor have joined the cast of the upcoming heist thriller that is shaping up to be an all-star affair. The trio will be joining already announced Casey Affleck (Every Breath You Take) Isabel May (1883) Marisa Tomei, (Spider-Man: No Way Home), and Yul Vázquez (Russian Doll).
Adapted from a novel of the same name by Richard Lange, The Smack will follow Affleck‘s character Rowan Petty, a con-man with a critically ill daughter (May) whose better days are behind him but gets the opportunity to get back in the saddle upon meeting Jade (Taylor) – a burgeoning hustler who introduces him to a score that if successfully executed could change both their lives. Arkin will play as Rowan’s grand ole colleague who digs into his wealth of experience to offer a few wise tips. Upon arrival in LA to pull off the biggest con of his career, Rowan encounters fierce competition from a host of other colleagues one of whom is his ex-wife (Tomei). As the game intensifies, deception ensues as allies turn into enemies.
Arkin is a heavily decorated veteran actor and having his name on a project such as this simply elevates it. Since rising to fame in the 60s, Arkin has remained a force to be reckoned with both on the big and small screens. His Oscar and BAFTA-winning supporting role in Little Miss Sunshine is proof that he can shine even when not at the center of the plot, something the producers will be hoping he replicates with The Smack.
Bates is another veteran with an enviable track record. In addition to her Oscar and BAFTA awards, she has two Emmy Awards for her role in the NBC series Harry’s Law. She recently earned a Golden Globe and Oscar nod for her role in the biographical drama film Richard Jewell. Her upcoming films include the coming-of-age film Are You There God? It’s Me.
BET Award winner Taylor has been running an acting and singing career simultaneously having made her debut in 2010’s Stomp the Yard: Homecoming. She recently had a role in Coming 2 America and will next appear in the remake of White Men Can’t Jump.
The indie project will be executed under Keith Kjarval‘s prolific banner Unified Pictures. Kjarval co-wrote the screenplay with Rosenthal who will direct the piece. Rounding up the team of producers are Sam Rockwell, Mark Berger, and Sugar Andrea Bucko of Sugar Rush Pictures. The executive producing team is made up of Tom Lasally and Will Rowbotham both of 3 Arts Entertainment, Ben Ruffman, Doug Grozelle, and Shane David Goenfield.
The project will reunite producer Rockwell with screenwriters Rosenthal and Kjarval all of who worked together on the 2013 crime thriller A Single Shot, which Rockwell described as “a singular experience, because of David’s keen artistic vision as a filmmaker and Keith’s leadership as a producer. ” Expressing optimism for the project and the cast they’ve set up, Rockwell added; “Bringing together this powerhouse company of actors feels like an old school, 70s way to make a movie, and Mark (Berger) and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this team.”
The Smack will begin shooting in Los Angeles this fall and is expected to be released next year.