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Pair join Cruise in U sci-fi pic

Kurylenko, Riseborough set for Joseph Kosinski-helmed project

Universal has tapped Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough as the female leads opposite Tom Cruise in Joseph Kosinski’s untitled sci-fi pic.

William Monahan and Karl Gajdusek wrote earlier drafts of the script, which is currently being rewritten by Michael Arndt.

Futuristic story follows a soldier stationed on Earth, the surface of which has been destroyed by aliens. When he discovers a mysterious woman in a crash-landed pod, it sets off a chain of events that cause him to question everything he knows.

Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark are producing through Chernin Entertainment, along with Barry Levine of Radical Publishing and Kosinski. Jesse Berger and Dave Morrison will exec produce. Production is expected to start in the first quarter of 2012.

It seems that nearly every high-profile young actress in town has been connected to the project at some point.

As Variety first reported, Jessica Chastain landed the other female lead in September, but was forced to pull out after she signed on to Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled Osama bin Laden pic and could not arrange her schedule to accomodate both films.

Kurylenko tested for a role in August along with Chastain, Olivia Wilde and Noomi Rapace. But after Chastain landed one part, Kurylenko wasn’t among a handful of other girls who tested with Cruise in November. Insiders say Cruise liked her from the original test, and remained in the mix despite not testing again in November.

As for Riseborough, it’s the first time her name has been linked to the project, as she didn’t test for either part in August or November. Thesp will make her American debut with the film, as up until now, she has only toplined Brit pics including Madonna’s “W.E.” Thesp’s next film, James Marsh’s “Shadow Dancer,” preems at Sundance next week.

Kurylenko, who played a Bond girl in “Quantum of Solace” and will soon be seen on Starz’s upcoming series “Magic City,” recently wrapped Terrence Malick’s untitled pic starring Ben Affleck.

Kurylenko is repped by CAA and Tavistock Wood Management. Riseborough is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Independent Talent Group. Arndt is repped by Verve and McKuin Frankel Whitehead LLP.

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