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Dennis Hopper’s Son to Star in Craven’s ’25/8′

I really don’t see why it’s such a huge deal, but Dennis Hopper’s son, Henry Lee Hopper, is set to topline in Wes Craven’s tentatively titled horror thriller 25/8 (which was first announced exclusively here) for Rogue Pictures. Inside you can find more details on the film, even more casting and word from Hopper about his son’s jump into acting.Henry Lee Hopper, Denzel Whitaker, Shareeka Epps and Emily Meade are prepping to star in Wes Craven’s tentatively titled horror thriller “25/8″ for Rogue Pictures.

Hopper, the son of Dennis Hopper, will play the lead role of Bug, one of seven teens haunted by a serial killer who supposedly died when they were born 15 years earlier. The film takes place over the course of a day as the mystery of who (or what) is stalking the small-town high schoolers unfolds.

Epps (“Half Nelson”), Whitaker (“The Great Debaters”) and Meade (the upcoming “Assassination of a High School President”), who are all expected to be part of the cast, are teens with several projects under their belts. But “25/8″ marks Hopper’s professional acting debut. Craven is casting relative unknowns to avoid giving viewers any preconceptions of who will die onscreen.

Hopper landed the lead after meeting Craven at a party for his godfather, Julian Schnabel. The pair bonded while discussing art, including the abstract expressionist paintings the teen made in his Venice, Calif., home studio. Craven said he fit the role of the initially naive, innocent Bug who is changed by strange events, and Craven invited Hopper to audition.

One might expect any son of Dennis Hopper to be perfect casting for a horror film. But the greatest surprise is that he appears to be a seemingly grounded teen despite being raised by one of Hollywood’s most infamous wild men.

“I never really got the brunt of all that,” said Hopper, who was born to actress Katherine LaNasa when his dad was 54. “I have two older (step)sisters that did, and I think it was really hard for them. Alcoholism played a big part in it all, so sobriety is something that’s very valued in our family. Everyone has a dark side to them, and he’s overcome it, so I don’t feel outraged by it.”

The father and son have always been close. “He’s always treated me like an equal, never an authority figure,” Hopper said. “I relate to him like a friend who’s been around 50 or 60 years more than me.”

Hopper was 14 when he first watched his dad huff gas in “Blue Velvet” but didn’t find it that disturbing. ” ‘Speed’ was a lot scarier because he got his head chopped off,” he said. “But I wondered, ‘Why does he always play these bad guys?’ ”