“Redbelt” star Chiwetel Ejiofor also is in talks to join the big-budget epic, whose title refers to the end days of human civilization as foretold by the ancient Mayan calendar.
Story kicks off with a global cataclysm, which brings an end to the world as we know it, and chronicles the heroic struggle of the survivors.
Emmerich and Harald Kloser penned the screenplay, which Sony bought in February.
Shooting will begin in July in Los Angeles, barring a Screen Actors Guild strike.
Mark Gordon, Kloser and Larry Franco are producing. Emmerich is exec producing.
Cusack, who recently starred in the horror film “1408,” will next be seen in satire “War, Inc.,” which he also wrote and produced. He is currently shooting “Shanghai” for the Weinstein Co.
Cusack is repped by WMA. Ejiofor, whose recent credits include “Talk to Me” opposite Don Cheadle, recently wrapped Danny Glover’s historical drama “Toussaint,” also opposite Cheadle.
Ejiofor is handled by ICM.