With production set to begin on Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes at the end of the month, Francesca Gregorini is busy finding the supporting cast. For the followup to her debut Tanner Hall, which she co-wrote and co-directed with Tatiana von Furstenberg, the writer-director has just landed four actors to help bring the story of a doll babysitter to life. Yes, a babysitter for a doll. Interested?

Already cast in the film are Jessica Biel in the role of Linda and Kaya Scodelario as the titular Emanuel. The story follows Emanuel, a troubled teenager who agrees to ‘babysit’ her neighbor Linda’s baby, which is actually just life-like doll. Over time, Emanuel and Linda become closer, the latter being a spitting image of the former’s deceased mother. Variety reports that joining the two actresses in the quirky film are Alfred Molina, Frances O’Connor, Jimmi Simpson and relative newcomer Aneurin Barnard. Molina will play Emanuel’s father and O’Connor her stepmother, while Simpson and Barnard play a co-worker and the Emanuel's love interest, respectively.

While the story sounds a little reminiscent of Lars and the Real Girl, Variety also caught up with the director who said that the Ryan Gosling-led film “is an easy comparison, but it [EatTAF] veers away from that tonally… I consider it a psychological drama-thriller, with comedic elements.” I’m not exactly sure how the plot description fits into the ‘psychological thriller’ genre but, with this excellent cast, I’m excited to find out. Molina and O’Connor are both seasoned veterans. Jimmi Simpson is a true chameleon, amazingly funny on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and yet delicate and tortured in Zodiac. As for Aneurin Barnard, you can catch him in Ironclad on VOD and judge for yourself. Overall, a really excellent cast taking shape for what sounds like an interesting independent film.

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