Cooper canters to ‘Seabiscuit’ gig

Thesp joins Maguire, Bridges in racehorse pic

Chris Cooper will take the reins as fabled horse trainer Tom Smith in “Seabiscuit,” Universal’s Gary Ross-directed adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling book about the Depression Era racehorse.

Cooper joins Tobey Maguire, who’s playing jockey Red Pollard, and Jeff Bridges, who plays the horse’s owner, Charles Howard.

Cooper will play a trainer who had very little to say to humans but remarkable communication skills with racehorses. He transformed Seabiscuit from an undisciplined underachiever to best the seemingly unbeatable War Admiral. Ross’ Larger Than Life is producing with Kennedy-Marshall.

Last seen in “The Bourne Identity,” Cooper starred alongside Nicolas Cage in the Spike Jonze-directed and Charlie Kaufman-scripted “Adaptation.” Repped by Paradigm and the Firm, Cooper also starred in “American Beauty” and “The Patriot.”

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