11 years after director Jared Hess and his wife/co-writer Jerusha Hess brought their debut Napoleon Dynamite to the Sundance Film Festival, Lionsgate has picked up their new comedy Don Verdean, one week before its world premiere at this year's Sundance fest. Sam Rockwell stars as the title character, a biblical archaeologist hired to find "faith-promoting relics in the Holy Land." After he comes up empty in his journey, Don must get creative in what is described as "a comedy of faith and fraud."
The supporting cast is rounded out by Amy Ryan, Jemaine Clement, who starred in Jared Hess' Gentlemen Broncos, Danny McBride, Will Forte, Leslie Bibb, Steve Park and Sky Elobar. Jared Hess also produces alongside Brandt Andersen and Dave Hunter. Grindstone Entertainment's Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb brought the project to Lionsgate.
It isn't known when Lionsgate may release Don Verdean at this time, but it's possible that the comedy could hit theaters later this year. Jared Hess' debut film Napoleon Dynamite, which cost just $400,000 to produce, debuted in July 2004, just seven months after its Sundance Debut. The comedy became an instant cult classic, earning $44 million for Fox Searchlight during its theatrical run.