Bettany to star in ‘Inkheart’

New Line Cinema has tapped Paul Bettany (“The Da Vinci Code”) to star opposite Brendan Fraser in its family fantasy “Inkheart,” to be directed by Iain Softley. “Inkheart,” which spent 19 weeks on the New York Times Children’s Chapter bestseller list, revolves around a girl whose father has the power to bring characters from books to life by reading aloud. When a villainous ruler and his band of rogues from a children’s fable kidnap the man, his daughter and her friends, both real and imaginary, must rescue him. Bettany is in talks to portray Dustfinger, a fire-eating performer. Fraser’s playing the father. Auditions for the part of the girl, Meggie, start Sept. 9 in England.

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