Two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) and Reacher breakout Alan Ritchson have signed on to star in the film Ordinary Angels from Kingdom Story Company, which Lionsgate will distribute.
Set against the backdrop of the worst snowstorm in Kentucky history, pic is inspired by the incredible true story of a struggling hairdresser (Swank) who single-handedly rallies an entire community to help a widowed father (Ritchson) save the life of his critically ill young daughter.
Jon Gunn (The Unbreakable Boy) is directing, having written the most recent draft of the script with Jon Erwin. Meg Tilly and Kelly Fremon Craig penned an earlier draft. Kingdom Story Company’s Kevin Downes, Jon Erwin and Andrew Erwin are producing alongside Stampede Ventures’ Jon Berg, Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee, Stolen Sky Productions’ Dave Matthews and Johnathan Dorfman, and Green Hummingbird Entertainment’s David Beal and Sarah Johnson. Chelsea Kujawa and Scott O’Brien are overseeing the project for Lionsgate, along with Business Affairs executive Phil Strina. Gabriella Ludlow oversaw negotiations for the Kingdom Story Company.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Hilary and Alan,” said Gunn. “They are both actors with incredible range, who find humanity and vulnerability in every character they play. They are perfectly matched to bring this complex and inspirational true story to life.”
“Kingdom Story Company endeavors to bring inspiring true stories to life on screen. Ordinary Angels spotlights one family’s seemingly insurmountable struggles and the everyday people who helped them in remarkable ways,” said Downes. “Hilary Swank and Alan Ritchson bring to life this heroic example of how one person can change a family and how that changes a community and gives rise, quite literally, to life and to hope.”
“Greg Silverman and I are privileged to have worked with the incredibly talented Hilary Swank while at Warner Bros. and we’re thrilled to be reunited with her on Ordinary Angels,” added Berg. “Stampede Ventures is committed to supporting rising stars and in Alan Ritchson we’ve got the complete package – a phenomenal breakout talent. We’re eager to start production with our amazing writer/director Jon Gunn and our partners at Lionsgate, Kingdom Story Company, and Dave Matthews’ Stolen Sky Productions.”
Swank won Oscars for her turns in Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby, and has also been recognized throughout her career with two Golden Globes, a Critics’ Choice Award, an Independent Spirit Award, a Gotham Tribute Award and a SAG Award, along with many other accolades. She last year starred in Oscar winner Tom McCarthy’s Untitled Alaska Project pilot, and also recently starred opposite Michael Ealy in Deon Taylor’s Lionsgate detective thriller, Fatale, as well as the Netflix drama series Away, which she also exec produced. The actress and producer has also appeared in such series as Trust and Beverly Hills, 90210. Additional film credits include The Hunt, I Am Mother, What They Had, Logan Lucky, New Year’s Eve, Conviction, Amelia, P.S. I Love You, Freedom Writers, The Black Dahlia and Insomnia.