Donald Sutherland, Marcia Gay Harden and Nikki Reed have joinedthe cast of Aric Avelino's ensemble drama American Gun, which began shooting in Los Angelesearlier this month and will open in the US through IFC Films.

Sutherland plays the owner of a Virginian gun store whoselife becomes entangled with those of a top student, a single mother and aschool principal.

Linda Cardellini, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon and Schuyler Fisk alsojoin the cast, which also includes Forest Whitaker.

Avelino co-wrote the screenplay with Steven Bagatourian. AmericanGun is being produced byTed Kroeber and executive producer duties are handled by IFC Films, ParticipantProductions and Spirit Dance.

"This extraordinary ensemble is poised to tackle the topical andcomplex subject of this film," Holly Becker, IFC's director of production anddevelopment, said in a statement. "They put a distinct face to the issuesraised."

Sutherland is currently in London starring in Universal-WorkingTitle's Pride And Prejudice opposite Keira Knightley.

Cardellini, a regular on the TV drama show ER, will star in Ang Lee's upcoming BrokebackMountain. Her otherfeature credits include Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed and Legally Blonde.

Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon has also made her name on the US smallscreen and has a lead role in the upcoming ABC drama Eyes. Her feature credits include Barbershop2: Back In Business, BadCompany and Wild WildWest.

Nikki Reed won acclaim as the co-writer and co-star of the teenager drama Thirteen, a Sundance discovery that was released through Fox Searchlight in the US.Fisk starred in Orange County.

ParticipantProductions is a Los Angeles-based production company focusing on sociallyrelevant, commercially viable features.