Swank centers on ‘Core’

Thesp to join Eckhart in astronaut role

NEW YORK — Oscar winner Hilary Swank will join Aaron Eckhart in “The Core,” the Jon Amiel-directed sci-fi drama at Paramount, which will begin shooting Dec. 10.

While Eckhart plays a scientist who discovers a problem with Earth’s core that will destroy the atmosphere and make the planet uninhabitable, “Hilary will play an astronaut pilot chosen to basically make the trip to inner space as opposed to outer space,” Amiel said.

Amiel’s core team will include about eight actors; he’ll bring aboard the other six over the next few weeks.

Amiel said he and Par are aiming for a smart but fun adventure story with science-fiction elements that can have family appeal. “And Paramount and I have been going to fairly extraordinary actors to make that come to life,” Amiel said.

Amiel said the pic is hoping to come in at a budget of less than half of what Disney sci-fi megahit “Armageddon” cost.

The film, scripted most recently by John Rogers, is being produced by David Foster and co-produced by Sean Bailey and Cooper Layne, the latter of whom wrote the first draft.

Swank, who won her best actress Oscar for “Boys Don’t Cry,” has two major films in the can. She starred with Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Maura Tierney and Martin Donovan in the Chris Nolan-directed “Insomnia” for Alcon Entertainment and Witt-Thomas. She also starred for director Charles Shyer in “The Affair of the Necklace,” joining Adrien Brody, Jonathan Pryce, Chris Walken and Brian Cox. Both films will be distributed by Warner Bros.

Swank is repped by WMA.

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