Dokken, Slaughter Members To Appear In "Metal God"

As Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Anniston prepare to start work on "Metal God," the film project loosely based on the true story of Tim "Ripper" Owens and Judas Priest, the movie's producers have tapped several real-life musicians to round out the cast.

Director Stephen Herek ("Holy Man" "Mr. Holland's Opus") will helm the picture, which tells the story of an office supply salesman who moonlights in a cover band, Blood Pollution. But the salesman, portrayed by Wahlberg, gets his shot at the big time when a famous heavy metal outfit, Steel Dragon, drafts him to replace its original singer.

According to Variety, Slaughter drummer Blas Elias, actor Timothy Olyphant ("Go," "Scream 2"), and Black Label Society guitarist Nick Catanese will join the Verve Pipe's Brian Vander Ark in the fictional group Blood Pollution. Vander Ark agreed to do the film last year (see "Verve Pipe's Brian Vander Ark Cast In 'Metal God'"), and will

play bass in the flick.

Drummer Jason Bonham, Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde, Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson, and actors Dominic West ("A Midsummer Night's Dream") and Jason Flemyng ("Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels") will rock out on celluloid as Steel Dragon.

Because the "Metal God" bands are staffed with real musicians, look for the movie's soundtrack to include several songs from each group, although the specifics for such recordings have yet to be determined.

"Metal God" is expected to begin filming on location in Los Angeles in March, and is tentatively set for release by the end of the year.