Moss to man ‘Mars’ as missions face off

Kilmer to co-star in Hoffman's sci-fi pic

NEW YORK — After making a high-profile splash in the Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures hit “The Matrix,” Carrie-Anne Moss has been tapped by those partners to star alongside Val Kilmer in “Mars,” director Antony Hoffman’s sci-fi film shooting this fall from a script by Chuck Pfarrer and Jonathan Lemkin.

Moss plays a pilot who stays on the ship while an astronaut (Kilmer) leads a crew on the first manned mission to the red planet, where they get stranded. She’s forced to decide whether to follow orders and return to Earth, or disobey them and engage in a death-defying rescue. The film is produced by Mark Canton and Jorge Saralegui and will shoot in Iceland.

It puts WB and Village Roadshow Pictures at the ready as it faces off against a rival project at Disney about the first manned mission to Mars in which the astronauts also get stranded. That film, director Brian De Palma’s “Mission to Mars,” starring Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise and Don Cheadle, has a projected summer start date.

Moss began her career as a model before starring in the TV series “Dark Justice,” “Models Inc.” and “Due South,” before moving up to roles in indie films “Sabotage” and “The Secret Life of Algernon,” and then getting her big break in “Matrix.” She’s repped by Metropolitan’s Adam Levine and managed out of Canada by Liz Hodgson.