Actor Jared Harris is coming to Lancaster County to film a new movie based on the life of the late Stan Deen, a beloved teacher and theater director.
Harris, who was the lead in HBO’s “Chernobyl” and starred in “Mad Men,” has signed with Inspiring Films for “Brave the Dark,” according to the Lancaster film development and production company.
“’Brave the Dark’ is based on the true-life story of a local teenager tormented by a horrific past who is rescued from his wounds by a dedicated high school teacher with the wisdom to heal both mind and soul,” the film company says.
Harris will play the role of teacher Stan Deen. Deen, who died in June 2016, worked with many students at Garden Spot High School, where he taught English and ran Garden Spot Performing Arts from 1967 until he retired in 1997.
After he retired, he continued working with kids at Cavod Academy of the Arts in New Holland, Ephrata Act, Lancaster Bible College, Veritas Academy and more.
The film will be directed by Damien Harris, Jared Harris’ brother. Both are the sons of actor Richard Harris.
“This is the true story of a good person whose compassion and perseverance not only saved but changed a life, and it comes at a moment when it is of genuine value and service,” Damien Harris says. “Jared has become one of the great actors of his generation, and I’m excited and proud to be making this film together.”
Jared Harris said he loved the script since his brother asked him to check it out, according Inspiring Films.
“Back then, it wasn’t with a view to being in it,” he says. “He just wanted me to throw ideas at him as he was organizing his thoughts about structure and character. I saw in it a powerful story of redemption, the toxic effect of a lie, how running from the pain of the past destroys any hope for a future, and the strength that comes from simple acts of compassion. It’s a true story, a modern story, and a story as old as mankind.”
Filming in Lancaster County and the region is expected to begin in October.