Bruce Willis to star in ‘Surrogates’

Jonathan Mostow to direct the sci-fi thriller

Bruce Willis will star in “The Surrogates,” a sci-fi thriller that Jonathan Mostow will direct for Disney. The studio is eyeing a February production start in Boston.

A Willis deal comes just as United Artists unplugs “Pinkville,” the My Lai massacre drama in which Willis was going to star for director Oliver Stone next month.

Michael Ferris and John Brancato scripted “The Surrogates” based on a graphic novel from Top Shelf Comix. They collaborated with Mostow on the last film he directed, “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.” The scribes also wrote “Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins,” the Halcyon-financed sequel that McG will direct at Warner Bros. (Daily Variety, Oct. 10).

“The Surrogates” is being produced by Mandeville’s David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, along with Max Handelman and Elizabeth Banks.

Story is set in the near future, where humans live in isolation and interact vicariously through surrogate robots who are better-looking versions of themselves. Willis plays a cop who, through his surrogate, investigates the murders of others’ surrogates. The cop is forced to venture from his own home for the first time in years and unravels a conspiracy.

Movie is expected to be released through Touchstone, and becomes the eighth picture slotted for an early 2008 production start by topper Oren Aviv.

Disney also is readying the P.J. Hogan-directed “Shopaholic”; the Adam Sandler-Adam Shankman comedy “Bedtime Stories”; “Witch Mountain,” to star Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson; “High School Musical 3”; “Hannah Montana”; the Robert Zemeckis-directed Jim Carrey starrer “Christmas Carol”; and the Sandra Bullock comedy “The Proposal.”

Bullock pic is being produced by Mandeville’s Hoberman and Lieberman.