January 22, 2009 / 7:10 AM / 10 years ago

Ruffalo gets rolling with "Sympathy"

Actor Mark Ruffalo attends a news conference for the "Brothers Bloom" film during the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival September 9, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Actor Mark Ruffalo’s first stint as a feature director, “Sympathy for Delicious,” is back on track after a personal setback put the project on hold.

The indie feature, which originally was to include James Franco (“Milk”) in the cast, fell into limbo after the December death of Ruffalo’s brother, Scott.

The project is now back on track, with Orlando Bloom (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) taking over for the unavailable Franco. Laura Linney, who recently won a Golden Globe for her performance in HBO’s “John Adams” and who starred with Ruffalo in the 2000 independent film “You Can Count on Me,” is also on board.

“Sympathy for Delicious,” written by Christopher Thornton, follows a paralyzed DJ, struggling to survive on the streets of L.A., who turns to faith healing and mysteriously develops the ability to cure the sick — although not himself. The DJ decides to cash in on his gift in exchange for realizing his rock ‘n’ roll dreams.

Bloom, taking over for Franco, will play the frontman of a tough-as-nails rock band. Linney plays the band’s manager.

Thornton, a theater actor who is paralyzed from the waist down, will play the DJ, and Ruffalo portrays a priest.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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