Actor and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto is stepping before the cameras for the first time in five years for Dallas Buyer’s Club, joining Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner in the long-in-the-works AIDS drama.
Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee (The Young Victoria) is directing the project, which will begin shooting in New Orleans next week.
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Inspired by real-life events, the story centers on Ron Woodruff (McConaughey), a Texas electrician diagnosed with AIDS and given six months to live, who began smuggling alternative drugs into the U.S. to help himself and other AIDS patients. He added years to his life but rushed head-first into a collision course with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which was bent on keeping the drugs out of the country.
In a potentially stand-out role, Leto would play a flamboyant cross-dresser with HIV who helps Woodroof. At one point, Gael Garcia Bernal circled the role but never reached the dealmaking stage.
Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack adapted Woodruff’s story for the screen. Robbie Brenner is producing with Rachel Rothman-Winter and Nathan Ross.
Leto worked with David Fincher in Fight Club and Panic Room, as well as Darren Aronofsky in Requiem for a Dream before focusing his energies on his rock band 30 Second to Mars, which since the mid-2000s has become a major arena performer. Leto did find time to direct a 30 Seconds to Mars documentary titled Artifact (under the pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins) and the pic won the people’s choice documentary award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
With music taking so much attention, Leto is somewhat choosy as to what roles he takes on and Buyer’s Club will be his first acting outing since he starred in Mr. Nobody with Sarah Polley and Diane Kruger.
He is repped by CAA and Untitled.
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