John Cusack has a new co-star for the almost end of the world. Benaroya Pictures and The Genre Company said today that Samuel L. Jackson has joined their adaptation of Stephen King’s novel CELL. Jackson plays Tom McCourt, an engineer and former soldier who with Cusack’s Clay Riddell character flees from Boston as the world turns mad thanks to the phones. The pic focuses on the fallout when a powerful signal is broadcast across cell phone networks worldwide. The signal re-programs the users’ minds and makes them murderous beasts. Tod “Kip” Williams is directing the thriller based on King’s 2006 apocalyptic horror bestseller with financing from Benaroya. Production is set to start early next year. King co-wrote the screenplay with Last House On The Left’s Adam Alleca. International Film Trust will be presenting the project to buyers at AFM starting this week. Richard Saperstein, Michael Benaroya, Brian Witten and Shara Kay are producing CELL, and Cusack is executive producing. Paradigm represents Stephen King, and is co-representing the film for the U.S. market with CAA, which represents Benaroya and Cusack. Williams is repped by ICM Partners. Jackson is repped by ICM Partners, Anonymous Content, and attorney Jeffrey Bernstein of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

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