New thesp for ‘World’ gig

Malick pic inspired by the legend of John Smith

Terrence Malick is rounding out his cast for “The New World.”

Fourteen-year-old newcomer Q’Orianka Kilcher will portray Pocahontas in the New Line pic. Christian Bale, David Thewlis and Noah Taylor have also joined the cast of the film, which stars Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer.

Inspired by the legend of Capt. John Smith (Farrell) and Pocahontas, drama is set amid the cultural collision of European explorers and Native American tribes.

Bale will portray an English tobacco planter, while Thewlis plays a rival captain; Taylor appears as one of the initial English settlers.

A descendant of the Huachipaeri and Quechua tribes of South America, Kilcher landed the role after an eight-month search. Her name translates to “Golden Eagle” in the Incan language of the Quechua.

She previously had a small role in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and later competed in the 2002 season of Paramount Television’s “Star Search,” placing second in the young singers category overall.

While this will be her first starring role, she’s a familiar sight in Los Angeles: Kilcher has been a regular denizen of Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, where she sang and danced for passers-by. Performing also runs in her family — her mother’s cousin is singer-actress Jewel.

“New World” is produced by Sarah Green and exec produced by Bill Mechanic, Trish Hofmann, Rolf Mittweg and Mark Ordesky. It’s scheduled for a November 2005 release.

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