For the third summer in a row, Disney plans to release a major film starring Bruce Willis. He is set to headline helmer Jon Turteltaub’s next film — “The Kid.”
The decision follows the Mouse House’s success with two previous Willis summer pics — the 1998 tent-pole “Armageddon” (which grossed $201.6 million) and this summer’s sensation “The Sixth Sense” ($213 million to date, and counting).
“The Kid,” penned by Audrey Wells (“The Truth About Cats and Dogs”), is slated to go into production in January and will be released during the summer. Turteltaub and his Disney-based Junction Entertainment partner, Christina Steinberg, developed the script with Wells over a two-year period and will co-produce the pic.
Willis told Daily Variety: “I am thrilled to be working again with Joe Roth and all the great people at Disney.”
Story centers on Wells’ original concept: A successful 40-year-old jerk is given an opportunity to spend time with a boy who is his 10-year-old self; the relationship gives him a fuller perspective on who he was and is.
Said Turteltaub: “When I heard that pitch, my heart leapt. The script is hilariously funny and at the same time breaks your heart. I couldn’t say no.”
Turteltaub (“Phenomenon,” “While You Were Sleeping”) said he also desperately wants to direct “Tucker Ames” for Laura Ziskin’s Fox 2000, but that his first commitment is to Disney.
Willis also has committed to star in “The Sixth Sense” helmer-scribe M. Night Shyamalan’s next project opposite Samuel Jackson — still to be written. That project is not a “Sense” sequel.
Turteltaub and Wells are repped by Endeavor.
Willis’ participation in “The Kid” was confirmed by his manager, Arnold Rifkin.