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Carla Gugino Latest To Join Naomi Watts, Bill Murray In ‘The Friend’

EXCLUSIVE: After earning a Critics Choice’ Award nomination for her role as Verna on Netflix’s hit gothic horror The Fall of the House of Usher, the latest of many projects she’s taken on with creator Mike Flanagan, Carla Gugino has been tapped for a role in The Friend, the indie dramedy starring Naomi Watts and Bill Murray, which adapts Sigrid Nunez’s New York Times bestseller.

Character details haven’t been disclosed. Others set to star, as previously announced, include Sarah Pidgeon, Constance Wu, Ann Dowd, Noma Dumezweni, Felix Solis, and Owen Teague.

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Winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction, The Friend follows a New York writer in the aftermath of her lifelong friend and mentor’s unexpected death. Thereafter, she’s left to deal with his complicated literary legacy, three eccentric ex-wives — and a massive, brokenhearted Great Dane named Apollo.

Scott McGehee and David Siegel, the filmmakers behind Montana Story and What Maisie Knew, are directing from their own script, also producing through their new company Big Creek Projects. Liza Chasin is also producing for her 3dot Productions (The Lost City, Anatomy of a Scandal). Watts exec produces alongside Mike Spreter for Big Creek and Margaret Chernin for 3dot, with CAA Media Finance repping the film’s domestic rights.

One of the stars of Zelda Williams’ directorial debut, the horror comedy Lisa Frankenstein, which is currently in theaters via Focus Features, Gugino will next be seen starring in Max’s dramedy The Girls on the Bus, out March 14th, as well as Ilya Naishuller’s action comedy Heads of State for Amazon MGM. She is represented by UTA, Untitled Entertainment, and Kopeikin Law P.C.

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