Jennifer Connelly And Anthony Mackie Sign On For Paul Bettany's Directorial Debut

After nearly two decades of working as an actor, Paul Bettany is getting set to head behind the camera for the first time - and he's already started to assemble an awesome cast to back him up. Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie are both now set to star in the project, which, according to Variety, is titled Shelter.

Unfortunately, if you're looking for more details about the project you're just a bit out of luck. It would seem that Bettany wants to keep any and all details about the film a secret for now, including a plot description. The actor cum director wrote the screenplay himself, but we don't even know what genre it falls into since the trade simply describes the movie as an "indie feature." Given that production will be taking place in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs later this year, at the very least we know that the story's setting.

This will be the first time that Bettany has stepped behind the camera in any capacity, as he doesn't even have a producorial credit to his name yet. As an actor, he most recently reprised his voice-only role as the digital butler Jarvis in Shane Black's Iron Man 3, but his last live-action part was in the 2012 Nick Murphy-directed crime thriller Blood with Mark Strong and Brian Cox. At the start of next year he will be seen alongside the likes of Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall in Wally Pfister's directorial debut Transcendence. Perhaps it was seeing the Academy Award-winning cinematographer take a chance at being a director that inspired Bettany to finally take the step.

Connelly, who is actually Bettany's wife in addition to being his lead actress, hasn't been featured in a ton of films these last few years, last appearing in writer/director Josh Boone's 2012 dramedy Stuck In Love, but she has a trio of films on her upcoming slate in addition to Shelter. In February 2014, she will play a big part in Akiva Goldsman's adaptation of Winter's Tale; then in March she will be seen playing Russell Crowe's wife in Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic Noah (teaming her with the director for the first time since Requiem for a Dream). Lastly there's the new feature from writer/director Claudia Llosa, Cry/Fly, which doesn't have a release date yet.

Mackie, meanwhile, has become one of the more popular supporting actors in Hollywood and has kept busy doing an assortment of projects both big and small. His most high-profile upcoming role is in Joe and Anthony Russo's Captain America: The Winter Solider - in which he will play Sam Wilson a.k.a. The Falcon - but he also has the Julian Assange pic The Fifth Estate coming out this November, and the Ben Affleck-Justin Timberlake thriller Runner Runner due out in October. He has also completed work on the comedy A Many Splintered Thing, which is expected to come out some time later this year.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.