John Schneider has signed on for the starring role in Doonby, about Sam Doonby, a happy-go-lucky drifter who takes up residence in a small Texas town but seems suspiciously immune to the misfortunes that beset the other townsfolk.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is described as a cross between It's a Wonderful Life and Crazy Heart and also stars Robert Davi as the town sheriff.

Doonby is written and directed by British filmmaker Peter Mackenzie and will be shot at Spiderwood Studios near Austin.

"It's a real clever script that you can't quite figure out until the final minutes of the story," Schneider said. "But nowadays, it's the people involved in the projects that attract me more than the projects themselves. There has to be a high level of integrity, passion and skill."

As Sam Doonby, Schneider is a mysterious stranger who takes a job as a singing bartender and always seems to be in the right place at the right time, a quality that inspires a dangerous level of envy from his new neighbors.

Joe Estevez, Jennifer O'Neill, Ernie Hudson and Jenn Gotzon also star.

"In some ways, Doonby is a modern-day retelling of 'It's a Wonderful Life,' but with a little more edge," Mackenzie said. "But the central question remains the same: What would the world look like if we hadn't lived?"