Travolta fired up

Thesp to join Phoenix in Disney's 'Ladder 49'

John Travolta is joining Joaquin Phoenix to climb up Disney’s “Ladder 49,” to be directed by Jay Russell.

Though Travolta’s deal is not done, “Ladder” is skedded to start production in March. Casey Silver Prods. is producing pic, which was penned by Lewis Colick.

Story concerns a veteran firefighter who, while trapped in what could be the fire that will kill him, looks back over his professional life, his heroic career and his family life. Travolta would play Chief Kennedy, who acts as a mentor to the Phoenix character.

Actor was at one stage in early talks to team with Disney on the Callie Khouri pic “Mr. 3000” but subsequently passed.

“Ladder 49” reteams Travolta with the studio where he made “A Civil Action” and “Phenomenon” and reteams him with scribe Colick, who penned the Travolta starrer “Domestic Disturbance” for producer Donald De Line and Paramount.

Disney senior VP Brad Epstein and creative exec Jill Morris are overseeing “49” at the studio.

Travolta, repped by WMA, most recently appeared in a small cameo role as himself in “Austin Powers in Goldmember.” Other recent credits include “Swordfish” and “Lucky Numbers.”

He will next star in the upcoming Intermedia/Phoenix drama “Basic,” in which he reteamed with his “Pulp Fiction” co-star Samuel L. Jackson for director John McTiernan. Columbia Pictures is releasing the pic in April.