Helmer rides with ‘Bobby Z’

Herzfeld on board for Walker pic

A new director and a new co-star have joined the Paul Walker-toplined “The Death and Life of Bobby Z” at Millennium Films.

John Herzfeld (“15 Minutes”) will now helm the pic, replacing Doug Aarniokoski, who was to have made his feature helming debut but ankled over creative differences.

Laurence Fishburne, now lensing Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible 3,” has also closed a deal to join the indie cast and will play a DEA agent.

Budgeted at $23 million, “Bobby Z” is the story of a first-rate loser who cops a plea with the DEA requiring him to pose as the legendary surfer-drug dealer Bobby Z in a hostage swap with a Mexican drug lord. When the feds’ ruse goes awry, the fake Bobby Z goes on the run, with the 6-year-old son of the real Bobby Z in tow.

Bob Krakower and Allan Lawrence adapted the screenplay based on the first novel by Don Winslow (“A Cool Breeze on the Underground”).

Producers are Matt Luber, Heidi Jo Markel, Keith Samples, Peter Schlessel and Larry Shapiro. Executive producers are Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort and Trevor Short. Walker also produces through his Blue Collar shingle.

Walker next appears in “Into the Blue,” to be released Sept. 30 through Sony.