We reported at the end of June that Joaquin Phoenix had agreed to star in the screen version of John Burnham Schwartz's novelReservation Road. The novel, which was adapted by Schwartz himself, tells the story of a college professor whose young son is killed in a hit-and-run accident. The event (quite understandably) sends the man into a tailspin, and he heads out to track down the driver of the car -- who, meanwhile, has gone into a tailspin of his own, trying to decide if he should turn himself in or maintain his self-loathing freedom. Whew.

When the casting news first came out, it wasn't known which role Phoenix would play, but Varietyreported this morning that he'll be the father, a gig that should allow him lots of room to work his patented Phoenix-agony. (I think I'm tearing up a little bit at the mere thought of watching him.) Appearing opposite Phoenix -- and, based on the plot summary, matching him angst-for-angst -- will be Mark Ruffalo as the tortured/hunted driver.*

The film, the first to come out of a new deal between Focus Features and Random House, will be directed by Terry George, who also did some late work on the screenplay. Production begins this fall.

*The IMDb also lists Jennifer Connelly in the cast, but that's not been confirmed by any industry sources.
categories Movies, Cinematical