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With more and more states finally deciding that same-sex couples are deserving of the same marital rights as more traditional couples, we can probably expect pop culture to more heavily reflect these changes in the coming years. One example of this is the upcoming drama Freeheld, a feature adaptation of the Academy Award-winning 2007 documentary short of the same name. The film has had Ellen Page attached for years, and she will be joined by the talent-oozing duo of Julianne Moore and comedian Zach Galifianakis, who are both attached to the project.
The story will follow Moore as veteran New York detective Laurel Hester, who gets insult added to injury following the diagnosis of a terminal illness, when her attempts to leave her pension with life partner Stacie Andree (Page) are rejected because the pair aren’t a married husband and wife. Thus began an infuriating civil rights case whose ending I won’t spoil here. THR reports Galifianakis will star as Steven Goldstein, the Garden State Equality activist that played a strong role in the case. There’s another strong role to fill in Hester’s detective partner Dane Wells, whose formerly conservative views morphed as he became more invested in the fight.
This will be the third feature for director Peter Sollett and his follow-up to 2008’s youngin rom-dram Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. He’ll be working from a script written by Roy Donovan episode penner Ron Nyswaner, who earned an Oscar nomination for his similarly homophobia-driven script for 1993’s Philadelphia, which won Tom Hanks the first of his two awards.
Moore is coming off of a busy 2013, filled with telekinetic daughters, a porn-obsessed eye-talian, and a failed playwright. She’ll be seen at the end of the month opposite Liam Neeson’s text messages in the high-flying actioner Non-Stop, and will appear later in the year in David Cronenberg’s fame drama Maps to the Stars and the tentpole The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, the sequel for which is currently filming.
Galifianakis, meanwhile, may always be "the bearded dude from The Hangover" to the masses, so this will be a nice step in the opposite direction. Comedy fans need not worry though, as he’ll fill out 2014 with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s star-studded Birdman, Matthew Weiner’s hometown road trip comedy You Are Here, and a bit role reprisal in Muppets Most Wanted.
Production on Freeheld is set to begin this summer. For more on the project’s inspiration, check out a trailer for the documentary below.