Murphy orbits ‘Pluto’ for Castle Rock

Futuristic comedy awaits helmer

Eddie Murphy is set to star in Castle Rock’s futuristic action comedy “Pluto Nash,” playing a lunar colonist who fights for the space settlement’s freedom.

“Pluto” will be produced by Martin and Michael Bregman. Martin Bregman has been attached to the project since it was written in the early 1980s by Neil Cuthbert.

No director has yet been attached to “Pluto.”

The story, described as an underworld comedy set in the next century, has Murphy playing a character whose checkered past led him to a new start in the funky, somewhat seedy lunar colony. But when a huge Earth-based corporation attempts to take control of the moon residents, Murphy’s character challenges them.

Warner Bros. will distrib the pic, which was set up at Universal for several years.

Cuthbert also scripted U’s upcoming comedy “Mystery Men,” based on Bob Burden’s Dark Horse comic books about loser superheroes with nearly useless powers, and co-wrote the ’93 witchcraft comedy “Hocus Pocus.”

The Bregmans are also in production on the Denzel Washington-starrer “The Bone Collector” for U. Other production cred-its include Al Pacino topliners “Scarface” and “Sea of Love.” The Bregmans’ most recent effort was the Tim Robbins/Martin Lawrence pic “Nothing to Lose.”

Murphy is repped by agent Jim Wiatt at International Creative Management and by attorneys Skip Brittenham and Cliff Gilbert-Lurie of Ziffren Brittenham Branca & Fischer.

Cuthbert is represented by George Lane and Dodie Gold at William Morris.

In November, Castle Rock starts production on Rob Reiner’s “The Story of Us,” starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer. Rock’s 1999 releases include the Hugh Grant comedy “Mickey Blue Eyes” and the Tom Hanks starrer “The Green Mile,” written and directed by Frank Darabont.

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