Leaves Of Grass For Norton And Sarandon

Tim Blake Nelson-directed thrill-com

The last time we saw Ed Norton and Tim Blake Nelson on screen together was in this summer's The Incredible Hulk. And, while they were holding their own private on-screen gurning competition, they clearly got along famously, for Norton has just signed on to star in Leaves For Grass, a comedy thriller written and soon to be directed by Nelson.

In fact, Nelson wrote the movie with Norton in mind to play twin brothers – one an Ivy League professor, the other a small-time pot grower – who mount a doomed scheme against a local drug lord (Richard Dreyfuss). And Norton liked the script so much, not only did he sign on to star, he signed on to produce, bringing the project to Avi Lerner’s Nu Image/Millennium Film.

Nelson will also appear in the movie as the best friend of one of the brothers, while Susan Sarandon (as their mother) and Keri Russell (love interest) have also joined the excellent cast.

Empire always has a soft spot for quirky indie comedy-thrillers, and this sounds like it has a lot of promise, even if the pot angle may be somewhat less fresh than it once was, thanks to the success of Pineapple Express. Nelson last directed the depressathon, The Grey Zone (also an Avi Lerner production), so it’ll be interesting to see if he can find his directorial funnybone.

As for Norton as twins, we’re hoping that he goes down the Jean-Claude Van Damme route and uses all the tools at an actor’s disposal to make each brother separate and distinct. Alright, we hope that he just gels his hair back for one, and wears his hair down for the other.

Shooting will start later this month in Shreveport, Louisiana.