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Sean Penn & Kurt Russell ready to tackle football and the literary world

08.04.2010

Cool guy actors and all-around macho men, Sean Penn and Kurt Russell, have both announced separate movie projects today with Penn in talks to star in GENIUS, a film based on the life of literary editor Max Perkins, while Russell has signed on to play the lead high-school football coach in TOUCHBACK.

The latter film is being directed by Don Hanfield and stars Brian Presley, Melanie Lynsky and Christine Lahti. Presley plays a down-on-his-luck farmer and volunteer fireman whose promising high school football career was cut short when he was critically injured during a playoff game. He gets the chance to decide if he wants the life he has, or the life that could have been, when he's unexpectedly thrust back to that fateful instant that changed his life forever.

GENIUS would be directed by rookie helmer Bill Pohlad (actually, he directed a film in 1990, so this would be his 2nd film), who is best known for financing movies, including Penn's own INTO THE WILD in 2007. The story would focus on the relationship between Perkins and a young Thomas Wolfe, though the script is peopled with literary characters. Perkins was a fedora-wearing eccentric editor-in-chief at New York publishing house Scribner, where he oversaw the release of works by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. The script by John Logan is an adaptation of A. Scott Berg's Award-winning 2008 biography, "Max Perkins: Editor of Genius".

Source: Variety

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