EXCLUSIVE: William H. Macy (Shameless), John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Joel Courtney (The Kissing Booth), DeVon Franklin (Jesus Revolution), and Stephanie Szostak (A Million Little Things) are among those set to star in On Fire, another new film from Sean McNamara (Reagan) that has landed a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement and will begin production in St. Louis November 6.
News of the project comes following McNamara’s recent commitment to direct the indie One Man’s Castle, penned by producer John Zaring, for Zaring/Cioffi Entertainment, Virtuosity Media, and his own banner Brookwell McNamara Entertainment. Rounding out the cast of today’s film, based on the bestseller by inspirational speaker John O’Leary, are Masey McLain (I Am Not Ashamed), Natalie Buck (Marry Me), and James McCracken (Christmas Again).
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Believed to be the first feature to take advantage of Missouri’s new production tax credit, On Fire was adapted for the screen by Gregory Poirier (Knox Goes Away, The Spy Next Door). The film picks up with a nine-year-old O’Leary as he’s given virtually no chance of survival, after being burned in a harrowing accident over 100% of his body. In his fight to live and show us what’s possible, he winds up leaning on his family, faith, and the entire city of St. Louis, including legendary St. Louis Cardinals announcer Jack Buck.
Producers on the film include J. Todd Harris and Margaret French Isaac, as well as McNamara and partner David Brookwell. Exec producers include Linda Huntington, Terry Schnuck, and O’Leary. Amy Powers co-produces. Joey Paul Jensen and Niner Parikh are overseeing casting.
O’Leary says that “On Fire weaves together tragedy, redemption, baseball and a love story. At a time of so much divisiveness, cynicism, and negativity, On Fire celebrates what happens when a community comes together, when personal imperfections are embraced and when we allow the fear of who we wish we were to finally give way to the gift of all we already are.”
McNamara calls the author “the kind of person that makes us remember how lucky we are to be alive, and that all that happens to us can be a blessing. In these troubled times we need to live an “inspired life.” I can’t wait for the world to join us and discover who John O’Leary is and how we can all live “On Fire.””
After starring on Showtime’s Shameless for 11 seasons — in a role that brought him six Emmy nominations, among other honors — Macy has been seen starring in Hulu’s The Dropout and Michael Jacobs’ starry rom-com Maybe I Do for Vertical. Upcoming projects include Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes and Amazon MGM Studios’ comedy Ricky Stanicky.
An Emmy nom known for films like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Serendipity, Corbett has been seen of late in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 and all installments of Netflix’s film series To All the Boys, as well as the shows And Just Like That…., XO, Kitty and How I Met Your Father.
Courtney starred in Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company’s faith-based hit Jesus Revolution and has also starred in recent years in the Kissing Booth YA film franchise for Netflix. Upcoming projects include the thriller Pursued with Molly Ringwald, Trish Sie’s Players for Netflix, and Half Baked 2.
Also known for his work as a producer on titles like Flamin’ Hot and The Star, Franklin’s acting resume includes the films Jesus Revolution, God’s Grace: The Sheila Johnson Story, Canal Street and Woodlawn.
One of the stars of ABC’s A Million Little Things, which wrapped its fifth and final season over the summer, Szostak has additionally been seen of late on shows like Younger and Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce. Film credits include Gimme Shelter, Iron Man 3, and We Bought a Zoo, to name just a few.
McNamara currently has two titles coming up for release: the historical drama Reagan, which stars Dennis Quaid as the 40th U.S. President, and the holocaust drama Bau, Artist at War, starring Emile Hirsch and Inbar Lavi. Other notable titles from the filmmaker include the family drama Soul Surfer and the recent fantasy pic The King’s Daughter with Pierce Brosnan.
Macy is represented by IAG and Atlas Artists; Corbett by Gersh; Courtney by Gersh, Authentic and Myman Greenspan Fox; Franklin by WME and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Szostak by UTA, Lasher Group and Hansen, Jacobson; McNamara by IAG and Felker Toczek Suddleson; and Poirier by Verve, Sugar 23 and Hansen, Jacobson.
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