Yet another musician-focused biopic is on the way: the Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Paul Dano (Looper, There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunsine) will play a young Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy, an “unconventional” film centered on the Pet Sounds maestro. Bill Pohlad directs. Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor’s Oscar-winning collaborator on the scores for David Fincher’s The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, is negotiating a deal to compose Love & Mercy‘s score. If Ross does commit to the project, he will design the movie’s soundscape and also work on the soundtrack, which will include songs written by Wilson. Producers are hoping to start filming sometime early this summer.
Pohlad has secured the life rights of both Wilson and his wife, Melinda, for a script written by Oren Moverman (I’m Not There), that will look at the songwriter’s marriage and mental health issues. The feature will span several decades and examine key moments of the California native’s life, notably “his artistic genius, his profound struggles, and the love that kept him alive,” according to a press release. Two actors will portray Wilson, with Dano locked down to play the younger version of the lead Beach Boy. The older Wilson has not yet been cast.
“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,” Wilson said in a statement. “I still can’t believe how cool it is that my life will be portrayed on the big screen… It just makes me feel so humble.”
Longtime television producer John Wells and Claire Rudnick Polstein (Next Friday, Boiler Room, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) are producing via John Wells Productions, while Pohlad is also serving as producer through River Road Entertainment, which he founded.