James Earl Jones and Matthew Modine sign on for Foster Boy

The film has started shooting in California.

James Earl Jones and Matthew Modine are set to star in a new film inspired by America's foster care system.

The Star Wars actor and Modine will appear alongside newcomer Shane Paul McGhie in Foster Boy, which has been written by attorney Jay Paul Deratany. The film is inspired by Deratany's time as a litigator in Chicago, Illinois and centres on a trial involving officials at a for-profit corporation that contracts foster care services out and places a sex offender into a children's home.

Jones will play the judge in the trial, while Modine has been cast as the lawyer, and McGhie will portray the defendant.

The movie has begun filming in Los Angeles and is being directed by Youssef Delara, reports Variety.com.

Part of the reason Deratany wanted to make the film was to shine a light on the issues foster children face in America.

"There are an estimated 400,000 children in foster care in America," he says. "They are basically unrepresented, with few ways to shape their destinies. Why? One simple reason: they are children. They have no money and they have no voice. It's not that they are bad kids. Our system is broken."

"Foster children are the last great civil rights victims in America," producer Michael Samuelson adds. "After 25 years, I thought I had retired from producing, but Jay's script was too compelling and too important (not to get involved)."

The filmmakers are also working with bosses at charities Children's Rights of New York, the Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego, and First Star of Los Angeles on the production.

It is unclear when Foster Boy will be released.

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