Pic centers on investigation of Alaska serial killer Robert Hansen

Nicolas Cage and John Cusack are heading north to Alaska to topline thriller “The Frozen Ground,” centered on the investigation of notorious serial killer Robert Hansen, with Emmett Furla Films financing and producing with Amber Entertainment.

Cage would portray the Alaska State Trooper who cracked the case. Cusack is in talks to play Hansen, who murdered as many as 21 women.

Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing with Amber’s Mark Ordesky and Jane Fleming. Envision and Curtis Jackson will exec produce. New Zealander Scott Walker will make his feature directorial debut, helming from his own script.

CAA is repping domestic rights. Shooting is set to start Oct. 10 in Anchorage with a $27 million budget.

Hansen, a respected family man, systematically abducted some two dozen women and flew them into the Alaskan wilderness where he released and then hunted them. Story will follow a trooper who finds one of Hansen’s victims alive on the street who becomes the key in an unlikely partnership that brings Hansen to justice.

Hansen was arrested in 1983 and charged with four murders and, as part of a plea bargain, agreed to show police where the graves of the murdered women were. He was sentenced to 461 years in prison and is currently imprisoned at Spring Creek Correctional Center in Alaska.

Cage also came on board recently for Charlie Kaufman’s musical “Frank or Francis” and recently completed “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.” Cusack will be seen next as Edgar Allen Poe in “The Raven.”

Emmett Furla recently wrapped “Lay the Favorite” and “Fire with Fire.”

Three-year-old Amber is in pre-production in “Exists” with Haxan Films with “Blair Witch Project” director Eduardo Sanchez to helm the story of a group of twentysomethings who take a trip to a cabin deep in the wilderness and are methodically hunted by a Bigfoot-like beast. (Daily Variety, June 27)

CAA reps Cage and Cusack.

Walker is represented by attorney Lev Ginsburg.

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