Thomas to ride ‘Horses’

Thesp joins Damon in Thorton-helmed Col pic

Henry Thomas, who has gone from the wide-eyed kid in “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” to indie fare like “The Suicide Kings,” has signed opposite Matt Damon in the Billy Bob Thornton-helmed “All the Pretty Horses” for Columbia Pictures.

Pic, based on Cormac McCarthy’s National Book Award-winning novel and set in 1949, is skedded to start shooting in March.

Thomas plays a West Texas cowboy who travels with his buddy (Damon) to Mexico to work on a cattle ranch. Damon then falls in love with the daughter of a wealthy landowner.

Tobey Maguire had been up for the role, but no deal was struck.

Mike Nichols is producing with a screenplay by Ted Tally.

Thomas is currently in Vancouver shooting “The Happy Face Murders” opposite Ann-Margret for Showtime.

He is also in talks to star in the indie project “Fever” with Alex Winters directing and Connie Tavel producing.

His other credits include “Niagara, Niagara,” “Legends of the Fall,” “Raggedy Man,” “Valmont” and USA Network’s “Moby Dick,” opposite Patrick Stewart.

ICM’s Tracy Brennan and Ben Press repped Thomas in the deal.

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