Actor Mo McRae’s (Wild, The Butler) feature directing debut, A Lot Of Nothing, continues principal photography this week with a cast that now adds award-winning actor Justin Hartley (NBC’s “This Is Us”) to the roster. The news comes just as CAA Media Finance boards the project to rep sales.
McRae directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Sarah Kelly Kaplan (HBO’s Perry Mason), for a cast that also lists Y’lan Noel (FX’s The Spook Who Sat by the Door, Universal Pictures’ The First Purge), Cleopatra Coleman (Hulu’s upcoming Dopesick, Fox’s “The Last Man on Earth”), Lex Scott Davis (Universal Pictures’ The First Purge, Columbia Pictures’ SuperFly), and Shamier Anderson (Netflix’s Stowaway, Saban’s City of Lies, Annapurna Pictures’ Destroyer).
A Lot Of Nothing is billed as a dark comedy thriller in which “things spiral out of control when a married couple living in a Los Angeles suburb is compelled to take dangerous actions when they discover their next-door neighbor is the police officer that just murdered an unarmed motorist.” Hartley will play the neighbor.
McRae is also producing alongside Inny Clemons and Jason Tamasco. An Anonymous Content, Scalable Content, and Traction production, the film is exec produced by Kim Hodgert, David Oyelowo, and Zak Kristofek.
“Throughout the course of my entire life movies have had an undeniable impact on not just my POV of the world but also the way I view myself. I believe this film provides me an opportunity to present a very unique lens for people to look at themselves as individuals and society as a whole. I am excited for the chance to explore many of the themes that plague our communities and homes in a way that gives us permission to laugh at ourselves, cry, be angry, and hopefully become liberated in the process. Our team of talented and brave collaborators have committed their all to delivering something unapologetically unique, truthful, and bold as F*c#!,” said McRae.
“Justin is delivering an unbelievably powerful performance in our film. I applaud him for his courage and commitment in taking on this role. Justin is embracing the challenge head on from day one and never flinches. I can’t wait for the world to see his riveting performance,” said Clemons.
Hartley stood among the cast for NBC’s critically acclaimed Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning series, “This Is Us,” in which he and the cast won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. His film credits include Little, Bad Moms Christmas, and Universal Pictures’ The Hunt, with the actor also paired up with This Is Us colleague, director/exec producer Ken Olin (“This Is Us”), to option the rights to Jeffery Deaver’s 2019 thriller novel “The Never Game,” which Hartley’s ChangeUp Productions and Olin’s Afterportsmouth Productions will develop and produce under the companies’ deals with 20th Television.
Hartley is repped by CAA and Jackoway, Tyerman, Wertheimer, Austen, Mandelbaum, Morris & Klein.