Searchlight on launching pad

Boyle in talks with Yeoh, Murphy, Evans

Fox Searchlight is finally on the launch pad with its space travel sci-fi thriller “Sunshine,” with thesps Michelle Yeoh, Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans in negotiations to head the journey.

The Danny Boyle-directed pic, about a team of astronauts sent to discover what became of a space mission crew gone AWOL, will begin shooting this summer in the U.K., and will be produced by Andrew Macdonald through DNA Films. Fox Searchlight will distribute in the U.S.

Boyle and DNA have to close deals with the thesps, but the director has chosen a cast with some heat.

Yeoh, who broke through in Hollywood with “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and the Bond pic “Tomorrow Never Dies,” just wrapped the Rob Marshall-directed “Memoirs of a Geisha” for Columbia.

Murphy, who starred for Boyle in “28 Days Later,” will next be seen playing the villainous Scarecrow in the Chris Nolan-directed “Batman Begins” and recently wrapped the Wes Craven-directed “Red-Eye” for DreamWorks.

Evans, who starred in “Cellular,” will next be seen playing the Human Torch in 20th Century Fox’s “Fantastic Four.”

The film has been scripted by Alex Garland, who wrote the screen adaptation of the Microsoft computer game “Halo” that is being shopped as a high-priced spec.

This is the third pairing of Garland and Boyle,” after “The Beach” and “28 Days Later.”

Searchlight is in the process of sequelizing “28 Days Later,” hiring Rowan Joffe to write the zombie encore “28 Weeks Later.” That pic will be produced by Boyle, Garland and Macdonald.

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