The cast of Atrabilious, the sophomore feature by 18-year-old filmmaker William Atticus Parker, is taking shape with some heavyweight acting talent confirmed as joining the cast. Deadline reports the student filmmaker has added some serious acting talent to his latest film. Leon Addison Brown, Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, and Jeffrey Wright have hopped aboard the project, which is now in the process of wrapping principal photography. Parker, the son of actors Mary Louise Parker and Billy Crudup, shot the film with A-list acting talent in New York City on a minuscule budget, not dissimilar to his debut feature, Forty Winks.
Atrabilious tells the story of Steven Joyner as he attempts to solve the mystery behind his son’s sudden death, which he feels may have been fabricated. The title refers to a bar where those stricken with grief go to heal and get on with the rest of their lives.
“Atrabilious is the darkly comedic and magical characterization of grief,” Parker said. “It’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for a while, and I’m so glad I get to do so with this wonderful cast and crew.” The cast also includes Mark Boone Junior, Lewis Black, Evan Jonigkeit, Joel de la Fuente, David Pittu, Andy Karl, Ward Horton, Hunter Parrish, Brooks Ashmanskas, and Dan Finnerty.
Parker’s first film, Forty Winks, is available to watch via premium on-demand video through Amazon Prime Video. The plot synopsis states, “A struggling hypnotist in New York City is blackmailed into being the world’s first hypnotist hit Man after a mysterious woman finds out his degree is fake.”
The filmmaker had previously recruited his parents to be part of his student features, with Crudup revealing the youngster’s methods of directing. “He’s a creative engine and likes to write and direct his own material at school,” he told US Weekly previously. “One of his films recently starred me and his mom, so he gets all the best talent right there.” While grateful for the assistance from his parents in completing the project, Crudup admitted his son had occasional harsh words for the standard of his own work. “He likes to critique…So that’s fun. But he’s [also] incredibly supportive.”
The filmmakers are currently negotiating with distributors and are planning to release the film on the festival circuit upon completion.