Casey Affleck, Zooey Deschanel, Walton Goggins, and Chris Messina have all been cast in Dreamin’ Wild, an upcoming indie movie about musicians Donnie and Joe Emerson. Bill Pohlad is writing and directing.
The film will tell the true story of the Emerson family and the tumult that followed the success of their titular self-recorded pop-funk album, which went largely unnoticed until critics rediscovered and reappraised it decades later. Now an adult, Donnie is forced to confront the ghosts from the past and grapple with the emotional toll his dreams have taken on the family who supported him.
Affleck and Goggins will play present-day Donnie and Joe, respectively, with their younger selves being portrayed by Noah Jupe and Jack Dylan Grazer. Deschanel has been cast as Donnie’s wife Nancy, while Messina will play Light In The Attic Records executive Matt Sullivan.
Pohlad is a great pick to write and direct this, as he previously helmed 2014’s Love & Mercy, which focused on The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson during two key parts of his life – the recording of iconic album Pet Sounds, and years later his horrific treatment during now disgraced psychologist Dr. Eugene Landy‘s 24-hour therapy program.
So Pohlad has plenty of experience directing music films that jump between different timelines. Dreamin’ Wild sounds like a potentially fascinating look at what happens when success and fame is delayed until decades after the art has been made, and how that affects the psyche of the creators. Plus the film should highlight a highly respected album most won’t have heard.
SPG3 will co-finance the project with River Road, and shooting has just begun in Spokane, Washington.