‘Mercury’ begins orbit

Principal photography has started on “Mercury Rising,” an action-thriller starring Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin for Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment.

Pic is produced by Brian Grazer and Karen Kahela, and directed by Harold Becker. Ric Kidney and Joseph Singer are exec producing.

The screenplay by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal casts Willis as an outcast FBI agent who’s on the run, trying to protect a 9-year-old autistic savant who is the target of government assassins after inadvertently deciphering a secret military code. Baldwin plays a National Security agent seeking the source of the code’s leak.

Co-stars are Chi McBride, Miko Hughes and Kim Dickens. Film, to be shot on location in Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles, is slated for release April 3.

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