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Cusack, Others to Solve 'Kit Kittredge' Mystery

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HBO Films has assembled a formidable ensemble cast for the Depression-era feature "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Mystery," which is being released by Picturehouse, HBO's venture with New Line Cinema.

Joan Cusack, Chris O'Donnell, Julia Ormond and Wallace Shawn are the latest to come on board the film starring Abigail Breslin in the title role.

They join previously cast Stanley Tucci, Jane Krakowski and Glenne Headly.

Also cast in the project are young actors Max Thieriot, Madison Davenport, Zach Mills and Willow Smith.

HBO Films held open casting calls in several cities for the roles of some of Kit Kittredge's friends.

"In addition to Abigail Breslin, we've assembled a stellar cast of principal actors as well as four new young girls we discovered in the open-call auditions held around the country," producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas said. "It was important to us to give the enthusiastic fans of this wonderful brand an opportunity to participate in bringing this to the screen."

"Kit Kittredge," the first theatrical adaptation of the popular American Girl line of dolls, tells the story of Kit Kittredge (Breslin), a clever, resourceful 10-year-old growing up in Cincinnati during the Great Depression who helps her mother (Ormond) run a boardinghouse when her father (O'Donnell) loses his job. Cusack will play a nurse who moves into the Kittredges' boardinghouse. Thieriot will play a boy accused of committing robberies, while Shawn will play the editor in chief of the Cincinnati Reporter Register.

Patricia Rozema is set to direct the film from a screenplay by Ann Peacock. Production is slated to begin Wednesday in Toronto.HBO Films, Goldsmith-Thomas and American Girl Brands Llc. president Ellen Brothers are producing in association with Red Om Films' Lisa Gillan. Red Om Films' Julia Roberts is executive producing, with Terry Gould and Marisa Yeres serving as co-producers.

Cusack is repped by UTA. O'Donnell is repped by Endeavor and Untitled Entertainment. Ormond is repped by Endeavor. Thieriot and Shawn are repped by Gersh.


Nellie Andreeva writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

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