Sutherland, Thal on line for ‘Puppet’

Donald Sutherland and Eric Thal have been inked to star in “Puppet Masters” for Hollywood Pictures, signaling an official greenlight for the science-fiction thriller, sources said Thursday.

‘Fear’-some segue

Stewart Orme is slated to direct the picture.

The British filmmaker segues from the acclaimed British miniseries “The Fear” to tackle the Disney movie.

Producers of “Puppet Masters” are Michael Engelberg and Ralph Winter, while screenwriters of the pic are David Goyer, Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio.

Third quick green

“Puppet Masters” is the third film among a trio of quick greenlights from Hollywood Pictures, including the Pauly Shore comedy “In the Army Now” and the Christopher Lloyd starrer “Camp Nowhere.”

According to Disney’s development reports, “Puppet Masters” is about the invasion of alien parasites who control the minds of their human hosts by attaching themselves to the flesh of their victims.

As the dangerous alien force subdivides and spreads, a trio of government operatives “must come up with a daring plan before it is too late.”

Female lead sought

Negotiations are ongoing among Disney executives and agency representatives to set the “Puppet Masters” female lead.

It is expected that Hollywood Pictures will have a deal in place within a week.

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