Eldard joins Disney hockey pic

Ron Eldard has inked to star opposite Russell Crowe in the untitled David Kelley hockey-themed project formerly called “The Game” at Walt Disney Pictures, sources said Friday.

Eldard will play one of a group of hockey players in a small Alaskan town who gets a chance to strut his ice stuff when the New York Rangers come to town and end up in a game with the group.

Jay Roach is helming the project from Kelley’s script.

Kelley and partner Howard Baldwin are producing in a deal that brought them a guaranteed shared payday of $2 million. Baldwin also happens to be the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team.

Eldard’s feature credits include “Sleepers,” “Bastard Out of Carolina” and the upcoming “Deep Impact” for DreamWorks.

He also was a regular on TV’s “ER” and then on “Men Behaving Badly” with Rob Schneider. Eldard recently wrapped “Trumpets Fade” for HBO.

United Talent Agency brokered the deal for Eldard. He is also repped by manager Brian Swardstrom.

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