Blanchett bagged by MGM’s ‘Outlaws’

Thesp to join Willis, Thornton in heist comedy

Cate Blanchett has committed to star with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton in “Outlaws,” the romantic comedy that Barry Levinson will direct for MGM. Shooting starts in September.

Scripted by Harley Peyton, pic is based on a true story about a pair of bank robbers who wind up fighting over the affections of a woman who they may or may not have kidnapped during a heist.

Blanchett, who has been wooed for more major roles lately than just about any actress in Hollywood, agreed Tuesday to play the female lead in the project, which is being called a contemporary “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

Pending the finalization of Thornton’s deal, Blanchett and Thornton look set to reteam, having co-starred in 1999’s “Pushing Tin” for Mike Newell.

Monday, Blanchett will wrap the Sam Raimi-directed ensemble pic “The Gift.” She will then spend a month playing the role of Elven queen Galadriel in New Line’s adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings.” She could fit in another movie before fall, or go directly into the MGM pic.

“Outlaws” is produced by Hyde Park Entertainment partners David Hoberman and Ashok Amritraj, along with Paula Weinstein, Michael Birnbaum and Michele Berk.

Blanchett, like Thornton and Willis, is repped by William Morris.

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