Caruso locks in Hackford’s ‘Proof’

Thesp joins Ryan, Crowe in Castle Rock pic

NEW YORK — David Caruso has landed the third lead after Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe in the Castle Rock feature “Proof of Life,” reteaming the former “NYPD Blue” star with director Taylor Hackford, who gave Caruso his first big movie role in “An Officer and a Gentleman.” The film will be distributed by Warner Bros.

Caruso and Crowe play international specialists who work for insurers involved in high-profile global kidnappings. Crowe takes the case of a woman (Ryan) whose activist husband (David Morse) is kidnapped by South American rebels. Caruso plays a colleague working a case of an Italian banker captured by the same group.

“We’re claims adjusters, but are also military trained, and when negotiations break down, we make things happen in extreme situations,” said Caruso. The two team up to liberate the captives. The role is a coup for Caruso, made possible by Hackford.

“This is the second time Taylor and I’ve worked together, and it’s a nice way to come full circle,” said Caruso. “It’s a good time to be involved with Russell and Meg, a great group, and exactly the type of material I want to be associated with.”

Caruso will be seen this spring starring in the TNT telepic “Deadlocked.” He plays a DA who, after convicting a young black man of murder, watches the kid’s father (Charles Dutton) take the jury hostage and demand the DA prove the son’s innocence.

Caruso’s agented by IFA and managed by Jason Weinberg of Untitled Management.

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