The life story of former U.S. government UFO scientist Bob Lazar that was recently put into turnaround by Guber-Peters Prods. has been put on an earthly fast track by New Line Cinema for director Chuck Russell, according to Michael De Luca, New Line’s exec veepee/CEO.

“We went after it because we think there’s something primal in people’s fascination with (unidentified flying objects) and people thinking that it’s true,” De Luca told Daily Variety.

New Line finalized the deal for the untitled film on Wednesday after Lazar considered competing offers from producer Steve Tisch, Simpson-Bruckheimer Prods. and actor Steven Seagal, De Luca said.

“Bob Lazar was confident that New Line wouldn’t take his story and turn it into a cartoon. What makes his story intriguing, thrilling and ultimately disturbing is the evidence suggesting that government-sponsored research on UFOs actually did occur.”

The nuclear physicist claims that in 1979, he was among a team of scientists recruited by U.S. Naval Intelligence to conduct top-secret “black engineering” research on UFOs the government captured and stored in the desert. Lazar was a senior staff physicist on the project.

De Luca said the pic will have an $ 8 million to $ 10 million budget and will shoot in fall or early ’94 with a ’94 release.

Russell, director of “A Nightmare on Elm Street III,” said: “This is a story that dramatically fills in missing pieces to one of the greatest mysteries of our time. This is an opportunity to create a thrilling film that will answer questions while moving the genre a step forward.”

Jon Farhab (a special effects consultant on “Super Mario Bros.”) will exec produce and supervise the special effects.