Oscar nominee Michael Shannon has boarded Swing, a romantic coming-of-age drama set in the world of elite varsity rowing. Howard Deutch (The Replacements, Pretty In Pink) is directing with principal photography set for September in New Jersey. Fortitude International will introduce the project to buyers in Cannes.

Written by Vojin Gjaja, a former armor officer in the United States Army, the screenplay is based on his experiences as an oarsman at Columbia University. The story is said to be in the tradition of Friday Night Lights and Dead Poets Society. Set in 1999, it centers on a group of friends and crew teammates in their last year of college whose lives are changed forever when a Vietnam vet (Shannon) takes over as coach of their dysfunctional team.

Swing is produced by Lucas Jarach, Robert Ogden Barnum, Daniel Dávila, Shannon and Byron Wetzel. Fortitude’s Nadine de Barros is exec producing alongside writer Gjaja.

“Michael is a brilliant actor paired with Howard’s directing precision, audiences will be riveted by the passion and emotional resonance of Swing,” says de Barros.

Shannon is repped by Wetzel Entertainment Group, CAA and Morris, Yorn, Barnes, Levine, Krintzman, Runbenstein, Kohner & Gellman; Deutch by Echo Lake Entertainment and Verve Talent and Literary Agency.

Fortitude’s Cannes lineup also includes Shannon’s Echo Boomers, Dennis Dugan’s Love & Other Disasters and Kristen Stewart-starrer JT Leroy.

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