Billy Bob on ‘Astro’ turf

Polish brothers to direct for Warner Independent

Billy Bob Thornton will star in the Polish brothers’ “Astronaut Farmer,” which the twin siblings penned and will produce with Paula Weinstein for Warner Independent Pictures.

Satirical comedy, which begins lensing in New Mexico early next month, is still in search of a leading lady. Michael Polish will direct.

Mark and Michael Polish’s script is about an astronaut who is forced to leave NASA in order to save his family farm. But he can’t give up his dream of space travel and looks to build his own rocket, despite threats by the government to stop him.

Weinstein, who hangs her producer hat at Warner Bros., will produce with Len Amato.

The Polish brothers (“Twin Falls Idaho”) brought the project to Warner Independent with Thornton attached.

Thornton will be seen this winter in Harold Ramis’ Christmas Eve comedy-crime caper “Ice Harvest,” based on Scott Phillips’ novel of the same name and adapted by scribe Richard Russo. John Cusack starrer is about a sleazy lawyer (Cusack) and a strip-club owner (Thornton) who embezzle $12 million from the Mob.

Earlier this month, the Weinstein Co.’s Dimension Films set Thornton and Jon Heder (“Napoleon Dynamite”) to star in a redo of “School for Scoundrels.”

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