December 1, 2015
By Ross A. Lincoln
SSS Entertainment and Single Cell Pictures’s Class Rank has rounded out its cast, with Bruce Dern and Kristin Chenoweth joining the indie comedy about two teenagers and two grandparents whose worlds are upended when love walks in the door.
Directed by Eric Stoltz and written by Ben August, the film follows teenagers Bernard, who lives with his quirky grandfather Oswald, and Veronica, a type-A personality with Ivy League aspirations who aims to step out from under her TV Producer-mother’s shadow. When Veronica approaches Bernard to run for the Board of Education, he sees it as a chance to reform the local school system to enable him to better care for his grandfather. Veronica meanwhile schemes to eliminate the class-ranking system to better her chances of getting into Yale. While wooing the local paper’s Editor in Chief for an endorsement, Bernard sees her as a potential partner for his grandfather. As Bernard and Veronica’s campaign progresses, the two discover the meaning of love and the importance of helping others.
Joining the previously announced Olivia Holt as Veronica, Skyler Gisondo has been cast as Bernard, with two-time Oscar nominee Bruce Dern as Oswald, Emmy and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth as Janet, Veronica’s mother, and Kathleen Chalfant as the local Editor in Chief. Also appearing in the film are Nick Krause and Peter Maloney in smaller roles.
SSS Entertainment’s Shaun Sanghani is producing alongside Sandy Stern of Single Cell, with August, Lee Broda, Jordan Yale Levine and Scott Levenson executive producing. Benjamin Bickham and Aimee Pestoni are co-producing. Class Rank began production this week in Alexandria, Louisiana. Shaun Sanghani and SSS Entertainment recently wrapped King Cobra, starring James Franco and Christian Slater.
Chenoweth is repped by Untitled and ICM, Dern, who next will be seen in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, by Alan Somers and Innovative, and Gisondo by Paradigm and Untitled. Ben August is repped by ICM, Kaplan/Perrone, and attorney Rob Szymanski.