'Island' life calls Ruffalo

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Mark Ruffalo will star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's drama "Shutter Island" for Columbia.

In Laeta Kalogridis' adaptation of Dennis Lehane's 2004 novel, Ruffalo will play U.S. Marshal Chuck Aule, who travels with his new partner (DiCaprio) to the eponymous Massachusetts island in 1954. As they investigate the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane, they encounter a web of lies, a hurricane and a deadly inmate riot that leaves them trapped on the island.

Ruffalo has all but signed a final contract for the film, set to begin shooting in March. It will be produced by Phoenix Pictures, Scorsese's Sikelia Prods. and DiCaprio's Appian Way. Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Brad Fischer and Scorsese will serve as producers. Lehane, Kalogridis and Louis Phillips will executive produce.

Paramount will supervise production and handle North American distribution. Columbia is set to handle international distribution.

"Island" is the latest prestige project for Ruffalo ("Zodiac"), who next will be seen in Fernando Meirelles' "Blindness" for Miramax and Rian Johnson's "The Brothers Bloom" for Summit Entertainment.

Ruffalo is repped by WMA and Robert Stein Management.
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