Dustin Hoffman Joins The Boychoir

With Alfred Molina and Kathy Bates

After his dalliance behind the camera on this year's Quartet, Dustin Hoffman has headed back to acting territory. He just finished Jon Favreau's Chef and has Esio Trot lined up, and added to that roster is now Boychoir, in which Hoffman will play an inspirational choir master. Alfred Molina and Kathy Bates will be listening in from the stalls.

Francois Girard (The Red Violin) is the director of the indie drama, calling the shots on the story of a troubled 11 year-old given the opportunity to turn his life around through music. He has a fractious relationship with Hoffman's character at their New York school, but Hoffman, apparently, will refuse to let him squander his talent.

Bates plays the headmistress, with Molina as another teacher. The hunt is currently on for an unknown to play the juvenile lead, although it sounds like most, if not all, of the rest of the choir will be played by singers from the real-life American Boychoir School. "These boys’ voices soar with this rare, unearthly ability for only a few years of their young lives, but then transform, a gift seemingly lost,” says Girard. “But what they experience in that brief time shapes them forever.”

Ben Ripley (Source Code) wrote the screenplay, and shooting will take place in Connecticut and New York, starting next February.