Twenty four year old award winning filmmaker Ash Christian (FAT GIRLS) will begin filming his sophomore feature film "Mangus!", a new comedy from the Sundance and Independent Spirit award winning producer of "Quincenera" - Anne Clements.
The new film stars notable talent including the very funny and loveable Jennifer Coolidge, best known as Stifler's mom in "American Pie" and for her funny turns in films like "Legally Blonde" and "Best in Show". Tony ® Award winner Alan Cumming, who has appeared in such films as "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion", "X-Men" and "The Anniversary Party", in which he co-directed with Jennifer Jason Leigh, has also joined the cast. Cumming won the Tony ® Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for "Cabaret". Actress Heather Matarazzo is playing a character named Jessica Simpson, reports the New York Post - but isn't playing the singer in the film. Ms. Matarazzo was last seen in "Hostel 2" but is best known for her role of Dawn Weiner in "Welcome to the Dollhouse" for which she won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance. She is also frequently recognized from her roles in "The Princess Diaries" franchise, in which she co-stars with Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews, as well as the hit "Saved!".
Christian wrote the film, which has been receiving great buzz in the Hollywood circles - and will direct. His last film "Fat Girls" premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews in 2006 and sold to Regent Entertainment and opened in theaters nationwide. Christian won the Outstanding Emerging Talent award at LA's Outfest and his film garnered over 11 best picture awards on the film festival circuit. As an actor, Christian has appeared in shows such as "Ugly Betty", "Six Feet Under" and "Cold Case". Recently, Christian raised equity for the Tony® Award winning musical "Next to Normal" currently running at the Booth Theater in New York City.
A fun dark comedy in the vain of such hit films as "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Little Miss Sunshine", "Mangus!" revolves around a high school senior, Mangus Spedgewick, in fictional Rivercity, Texas. He has high hopes to fulfill a family tradition by playing the role of Jesus in his local annual production of "Jesus Christ Spectacular" (the poor man's version of "Jesus Christ Superstar")... That is until a freak accident renders him legless. Shuttled off to live with his estranged mother in a trailer park, the senior finds new friendship with a quasi sibling and winds up playing the role after a series of strange events that also reunites his family.
A walk-on role in the film is currently being auctioned on eBay, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Human Rights Campaign. www.mangusthemovie.com
The film will be using high definition technology and will begin filming January 18th in and around Dallas and Waxahachie, Texas. "Mangus!" will be ready for a late 2010 release.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.