Exclusive : Minka Kelly to join Giovanni Ribisi in Papa pic


Former Dillon Cheerleader Minka Kelly (“Friday Night Lights”, “Parenthood”) will star opposite Giovanni Ribisi in director/producer Bob Yari’s adaptation of the off-Broadway play “Papa”.

The drama is inspired by the encounter and friendship America’s youngest war correspondent Denne Bart Petitclerc (to be played by “Gangster Squad” star Ribisi) had with Ernest Hemingway. The late Petitclerc adapted the screenplay.

In the ’50s, Petitclerc wrote Hemingway a fan letter, to which the novelist replied. They’d become friends, regularly mailing each other, even going on fishing trips together. Florida-based Petitclerc would also adapt one of Hemingway’s unfinished books, Islands in the Stream, into screenplay form.

The War Correspondent for such papers as The San Francisco Chronicle and The Miami Herald would use “Islands” as his stepping stone to Hollywood, ultimately writing for TV’s “Bonanza”; creating NBC’s “Then Came Bronson”, and turning the film “Le Mans” into paperback form.

Peter Bart once said of Petitclerc,”He was a master at translating, keeping the essence of Hemingway’s attitudes and ideas but framing them into lines that an actor could speak on the screen.”

It’s believed Kelly, who next plays Jackie Kennedy in Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”, would play Petitclerc’s wife of 35 years.

Hearing that Sharon Stone might also be being sought for a role. No confirmation on that yet.

“Papa” will shoot in the United States and Cuba.