by: Clark Allen
Ben Kingsley and Maria Bello have joined the cast of the upcoming thriller, THE EEL. Produced by Oscar-winning screenwriters Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the film follows an escaped convict who is blackmailed by a corrupt sheriff into kidnaping the daughter of a wealthy oil magnate, but ends up befriending his hostage. Sophie Nélisse has also been cast and will play the young heiress. Oscar winner Kingsley’s role is currently under wraps, as is Bello’s. The trio will join lead actor Sam Rockwell, whose involvement was confirmed when the project was announced last year. Michael Mailis has signed on to produce the film for Hyperion Media Group. Kevin J Walsh will also produce, with Roberto Bentivegna writing and making his directorial debut.
Kingsley had a big year, appearing in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, and Lika’s animated darling The Boxtrolls. Next, he’ll appear in Robert Zemeckis’s high-wire drama The Walk and will voice the black panther Bagheera in Disney’s new live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. Bello recently appears in the Hugh Jackman-led thriller Prisoners and the Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups 2. She’s next set to star in the sports drama McFarland, USA and the horror/thriller Demonic. Sophie Nélisse burst onto the scene with her leading role in The Book Thief. Up next, the young actress will star in The Great Gilly Hopkins and Wait Till Helen Comes. Mailis executive produced last year’s dark drama God’s Pocket and will executive produce the upcoming horror flick The Hallow.