Robin Williams has signed onto play the lead in The Night Listener, Hart Sharp Entertainment's adaptation of Armistead Maupin'sbestselling drama.
Toni Collette is in talks to join the cast on the story of a radio show hostwho strikes up a telephone friendship with a mysterious boy and in the processloses a grip on his life.
Sandra Oh, Rory Culkin, and Joe Morton are also indiscussions to star in the project, which is due to begin filming inmid-march in and around New York.
Hart Sharp's True Film Fund II is financing the project and UTA is representingHart Sharp in talks with prospective distributors.
John Hart, Jeffrey Sharp, Robert Kessel and Jill Footlick will produce andMaupin and Terry Anderson will serve as executive producers. Maupin, Andersonand director Patrick Stettner adapted the screenplay.
"I've been a long-time fan of Armistead's as a reader and now as afriend," Sharp said. "It's an honour to produce his best book yet."
Hart Sharp's chief operating officer Michael Hogan negotiated the Williams dealwith outside counsel George Sheanshang. Hogan will also serve as executiveproducer.
"This film will mark the first feature developedspecifically for the True Film Fund II," Hart said. "For us, TheNight Listener is classic Hart Sharpmaterial: a great story and a first-rate cast led by a director with a strongartistic vision."
Hart Sharp's production credits include Boys Don't Cry, You Can Count On Me,A Home At The End Of The World, and theupcoming Miramax co-production Proof, starringGwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins.
Stettner previously directed the award winning 2001 thriller TheBusiness Of Strangers starring Stockard Channing and Julia Stiles.