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Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges will star as mother and son in the family drama “Ben Is Back,” to be directed by Hedges’ real-life father, Peter Hedges.

Lucas Hedges, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in “Manchester by the Sea,” will portray a charming yet troubled man who returns home to his unsuspecting family on Christmas Eve. His wary mother welcomes her beloved son’s return, but soon learns that he is still very much in harm’s way.

Color Force and Black Bear Pictures are producing alongside the elder Hedges, with 30West and Black Bear fully financing the project. CAA, which packaged and arranged financing for the movie, will represent U.S. rights. Sierra/Affinity will be handling international rights at the American Film Market, which opens Nov. 1 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Production is set to begin this December in New York.

Roberts stars in the upcoming drama “Wonder,” opposite Jacob Tremblay and Owen Wilson, and will soon commence production on the Amazon Studios show “Homecoming.”

Lucas Hedges stars in the upcoming films “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and is currently in production on “Boy Erased,” which he toplines with Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Joel Edgerton, who also directs.

Peter Hedges earned an Academy Award nomination for his work on “About a Boy,” and also wrote the novel and screenplay for “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” His directorial works include “Pieces of April” and “Dan in Real Life.” The casting news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.


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