Olympia Dukakis, JimGaffigan, Thomas McCarthy (writer/director of The Station Agent), and Naseeruddin Shah (Monsoon Wedding, TheLeague Of Extraordinary Gentlemen) havejoined Edie Falco, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Tony Shalhoub in the cast of TheGreat New Wonderful, the first projectfrom low-budget production house Serenade Films.
The picture weaves togetherfive stories set against the backdrop of an edgy post-9/11 New York. It wasdeveloped by Sly Dog Films and is directed by Danny Leiner (Dude, Where's MyCar') from a screenplay by SamCatlin.
Leiner and partner MattTauber will produce with Serenade principals Leslie Urdang, Michael Nozik, AmyRobinson and Michael Hoffman, who financed the picture. Production is due tobegin in New York this week.
The deal is being packagedwith the help of Jeremy Barber, David Kramer and UTA.
"We are thrilled andinspired by the actors who are coming together to tell this story within thespecial parameters of the Serenade model," Urdang said in a statement.
"It speaks to the power ofthe script, the talent and leadership of the director and to the integrity andgenerosity of the actors who will always choose to work - at whatever budgetlevel - when they believe in something.
"We're excited to bepartnering with Serenade, especially on this, Sly Dog Films' first project,"Leiner added. "Serenade shares our love of this amazing script and we admirethat they're willing to take chances on risky material."
Launched by Urdang, Nozik,Robinson and Hoffman last December, Serenade plans to make five pictures in thenext year with budgets averaging around the low six-figures region.
The company's business modelmeans film-makers work for low but equal fees, then participate in the firstdollar adjusted gross from all revenues derived from the sale and distributionof the picture.