EXCLUSIVE: Trace Adkins, Thora Birch, Peter Facinelli, Anne Heche, Will Peltz and Paz Vega have been set to lead the cast of 13 Minutes, a tornado-driven drama that will mark the feature directing debut of Lindsay Gossling. Shooting starts next month in Oklahoma in the heart of Tornado Alley.

Set in a small American town, Gossling’s script begins with residents starting a day as ordinary as the next. Mother Nature, however, has other plans for them. Inhabitants have just 13 minutes to seek shelter before the largest tornado on record ravages the town, leaving them struggling to protect their loved ones and fighting for their lives.

Travis Farncombe and Gossling developed the project and will produce with Karen Harnisch via their Involving Pictures. Elevated Films’ Cassian Elwes and Jere Hausfater will executive produce in association with ImpactWX.

Highland Film Group is steering international sales at the American Film Market that kicks off next week and is co-repping U.S. rights with Elevated.

Gossling most recently penned A Translator, the Havana-set drama that is Cuba’s submission in this year’s International Feature Film Oscar race.

Country star/actor Adkins is repped by UTA and Greg Baker. Birch, currently on The Walking Dead, is repped by Buchwald and Luber Roklin Entertainment. Facinelli, whose feature film Hour of Lead co-starring Heche and Thomas Jane is now in postproduction, is repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Mainstay Entertainment. Heche is with Paradigm and Untitled Entertainment.

Vega, most recently seen in Rambo: Last Blood, is repped by Paradigm and Management Production Entertainment. Peltz (Unfriended) is with Innovative Artists and Management Production Entertainment.

13 Minutes joins a Highland slate that includes Jiu Jitsu, starring Nicolas Cage, Alain Moussi, Tony Jaa, Frank Grillo, and Rick Yune; Open Source, starring Bruce Willis; Persephone, starring Brianna Hildebrand; and Michael Polish’s Axis Sally, starring Al Pacino.

By Patrick Hipes, Deadline