Padraic McKinley’s The Weight to Reportedly Star Ethan Hawke and Russell Crowe

Ethan Hawke and Russell Crowe are reportedly set to share the screen for the first time. The actors have joined the cast of Padraic McKinley’s period drama film ‘The Weight.’ The project has been in the works at WME Independent.

Set in Oregon in 1933, the movie revolves around an honest family man named Samuel Murphy (Hawke), who faces a personal crisis when his wife dies in a tragic accident. Murphy then becomes the sole guardian of his daughter but his stoicism buoys him during hard times — until he is arrested and sent to a work camp while his daughter is sent to an orphanage. Desperate to get back to his child, Murphy becomes instant prey for the warden of the camp, Clancy (Crowe), who gives the former a job to smuggle gold out of a mine with a ragtag crew of prisoners and guards.

As the narrative progresses, the crew members soon realize that their biggest threat is not the thieves and the precarious wilderness ahead of them but treachery from within their ranks. Betrayal spreads like wildfire — and no one is to be trusted. “With threats closing in from all sides, how far will Murphy go to be reunited with his daughter?” further reads the logline.

Hawke is currently gearing up for the production of the horror film ‘The Black Phone 2,’ a sequel to his 2021 movie. He will feature alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Jessica Biel in ‘Batso,’ which follows a trio of climbers who take the most difficult route to climb the El Capitan peak in Yosemite National Park. Hawke’s recent credits include Clay Sandford in Netflix’s apocalyptic drama ‘Leave the World Behind,’ Rick Miller in FX’s comedy series ‘Reservation Dogs,’ and Jake in Pedro Almodóvar’s Western short ‘Strange Way of Life.’

Crowe, on the other hand, will feature in the action-adventure movie ‘Kraven the Hunter,’ which is scheduled to be released on August 30, 2024. The actor portrayed Reaper in the thriller ‘Land of Bad,’ Father Gabriel Amorth in the horror film ‘The Pope’s Exorcist,’ and Arthur Coates in Apple TV+’s ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever.’ He also directed and starred in the 2022 crime thriller ‘Poker Face.’

‘The Weight’ is McKinley’s first feature as a director. He earlier helmed multiple episodes of shows such as NBC’s ‘Debris,’ Netflix’s ‘FightWorld,’ and Audience’s ‘Kingdom.’ As an editor, his credits include Hawke’s ‘The Good Lord Bird,’ Netflix’s ‘Wheelman,’ and Jason Statham-starrer ‘Homefront.’

Hawke and Crowe had previously shared headlines when the former mentioned the latter while discussing the retirement of Peter Weir, who is known for ‘Dead Poets Society.’ “I think he [Weir] lost interest in movies. He really enjoyed that work when he didn’t have actors giving him a hard time. Russell Crowe and Johnny Depp broke him,” Hawke told IndieWire in July 2022.

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