Streaming giant Netflix has tapped Ben Schwartz and Noël Wells as the leads for their new original film HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, the Tracking Board has confirmed. The project, written and directed by Jared Stern, will also feature Annie Potts and Joe Pantoliano in supporting roles.
The Tracking Board exclusively broke the news about Stern and the film earlier in the month, before any casting has been confirmed.
The film is a romantic comedy following Sam (Schwartz) and Mollie (Wells), a couple approaching their three-year anniversary. On the eve of this big milestone, they must decide whether to keep going or call it quits. Told over the course of a single day, the film employs flashbacks to reveal how the couple got to this point.
Potts and Pantoliano will play Mollie’s parents, Diane and Aldo.
Produced by Marc Provissiero and Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment, Helena Heyman and Industry Entertainment, and M. Elizabeth Hughes, the project is one of the company’s independent original films. It’s part of their continuing strategy to work directly with independent filmmakers and producers to make films about genuine stories for their audience.
Production on the project is set to start on January 31.
Schwartz is a longtime comedy actor, best known for his roles in series like Parks and Recreation as Jean-Ralphio, BoJack Horseman, and Bob’s Burgers. He’s done several movies, most recently as a supporting character in Clea DuVall’s The Intervention alongside Natasha Lyonne and Jason Ritter. He’ll next be heard in Disney’s reimagining of DuckTales and the films An Actor Prepares and Blue Iguana. He’s repped by WME and Haven Entertainment.
Wells recently appeared on the new MTV series Loosely Exactly Nicole as well as the film Dreamland. She also has a recurring role in Master of None, also on Netflix and has roles in several upcoming movies, including The Incredible Jessica James, which just screened at Sundance, and F*cking People. She’s repped by DPN Talent, ICM, and Kirsten Ames Management.
Longtime actor Potts has been in several films from Ghostbusters to Pretty in Pink. Last summer she had a cameo in the new Ghostbusters iteration and soon she’ll be reprising her role as Bo Peep in Pixar’s Toy Story franchise. She’s repped by Innovative Artists.
Pantoliano has appeared in several big projects throughout his career, including The Sopranos, The Matrix, and The Fugitive. He can next be seen in Villa Capri from Broad Green. He’s repped by APA and Lasher Group.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor