Back in March, we reported that ex-SNL Superstar! Molly Shannon was in final talks to star in Mike White's directorial debut, Year of the Dog, taking a role written specifically for her (she and White worked together on the short-lived TV show, Cracking Up, and clearly got along reasonably well). Not surprisingly (since "final talks" usually means "looking for a pen to sign the contract"), Shannon got the gig, and now she's snared some (pleasingly diverse) costars, as well. According to this morning's Hollywood Reporter, Peter Sarsgaard, Regina King, John C. Reilly and Laura Dern have all joined the cast of the movie, which starts shooting next month.

The film tells the story of Shannon's character, a "happy-go-lucky secretary who lives alone with her beloved dog Pencil." As you might expect, the dog dies, she gets really sad, and lessons are learned. As I said when I first reported this story, that summary makes the movie sounds alarmingly like one of those loathsome "I found a man and am now complete!" stories. But, with a screenplay by White, it's awfully hard to imagine that it will take such an obvious path -- we'll just have to wait for script reviews and set leaks and whatnot to find out what he's got in mind.