Inside Move: Norton leaves ‘War’ front

Lion to recast pic, lensing may be delayed

Edward Norton has become a deserter in “Hart’s War.” Helmed by Gregory Hoblit, MGM’s adaptation of John Katzenbach’s WWII novel was to have been the first pairing between thesp and director since 1996’s “Primal Fear.”

Norton was to have toplined as Tommy Hart, an American who is shot down over Europe and winds up defending a fellow prisoner of war facing a murder charge. Katzenbach’s novel is based on the life history of his father, former U.S. attorney general Nicholas Katzenbach. “Hart’s War” is being produced by David Ladd and David Foster, who also produced the film of Katzenbach’s novel “The Mean Season.”

“War” was to have begun shooting in Prague in January, but whether that sked remains intact remains to be seen. A January start would have ensured enough time to spare for looping and mixing before a possible writers and actors strikes expected to begun after contracts expire May 1 and July 1, respectively.

MGM is understood to be recasting the film based, in part, on a list of desirables furnished by Bruce Willis, who has been circling both “War” and Fox 2000’s remake of “La Femme Infidele,” “Unfaithful.”

Norton is repped by Endeavor, Willis by business partner Arnold Rifkin at Cheyenne Management.

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