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Hitman’s ‘Contract’

Cusack takes out thriller role with Freeman

John Cusack will next star in Bruce Beresford thriller “The Contract” opposite Morgan Freeman for Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films. Pic begins production this spring.

Budgeted at $37 million, “Contract” is the story of a family outing that turns deadly when a grandfather, son and grandson stumble across the path of a hired killer. Stephen Katz and John Darrouzet penned the script. Pic is wholly financed by German film financier VIP (Daily Variety, Dec. 15).

“The Contract” falls under Emmett/Furla Prods.’ long-term development and production deal with Millennium, which will handle distribution. Randy Emmett and George Furla will produce with Lerner.

Cusack is currently shooting “Must Love Dogs” opposite Diane Lane for Warner Bros. Pictures. His next release is Focus Features’ “Ice Harvest,” opposite Billy Bob Thornton, which will reach theaters this fall.

Freeman, who won the SAG Award on Saturday for his role in “Million Dollar Baby,” is currently shooting “Lucky Number Slevin,” which is also backed by VIP coin. He recently completed another Millennium-Emmett/Furla project, “Edison,” with Kevin Spacey and Justin Timberlake.

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