Even given his success in the screenwriting field with the likes of Cars, Bolt, Tangled and Crazy, Stupid, Love, Dan Fogelman has had to endure development delays in his attempt to direct his latest script, Imagine. But his patience appears to have paid off, as Fogelman has scored Al Pacino (who was circling earlier this year), Jeremy Renner and Julianne Moore to star.
Imagine follows an aging, 60-plus rock star (Pacino) who is content to coast on former glories while still packing arenas and enjoying a wild life with a young girlfriend. He has no desire for anything else, perhaps unsurprisingly.
But then he discovers an undelivered letter that John Lennon wrote to him when he was 19. The missive from his hero inspires him to rediscover his passion for music and creativity, while also spurring him to connect with the 40-year-old son (Renner) he never made time for before.
As part of his new journey, he moves into a small New Jersey hotel and makes friends with the manager, which is where Moore fits in.
“Every writer has 'that one project' … the one they feel so strongly about that they can’t bear to turn it over to anyone else,” Fogelman tells Deadline. “For me, that project is Imagine. It was a career highlight simply to get a script of mine into Al Pacino’s hands. To have him read it, and then want to star in it… it’s five steps past career highlight. And now, to have Julianne Moore and Jeremy join the fray? It’s beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve been hiding in my house for the past few weeks, out of fear that someone would pinch me. We are going to make a very special film here.”
Though Steve Carell had originally been attached to play Renner’s role and Warner Bros. had been set to finance, it’ll now get independent backing from Inimitable Pictures and is selling distribution rights at the American Film Market next week. Shooting is set to start in late April next year.
Fogelman’s latest script, Last Vegas, is about to start filming with Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro starring. He also wrote The Guilt Trip, which features Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand. That one arrives on February 22.