Aaron Eckhart suits up for 'Battle'

Jonathan Liebesman will direct the sci-fi film

Aaron Eckhart is attached to star in "Battle: Los Angeles," a sci-fi actioner that Jonathan Liebesman is directing for Columbia. Neal Moritz and his Original Film are producing.

The deal puts the actor front and center on an action movie for the first time. Eckhart had made his name working on less mainstream films, among others starring in "In the Company of Men" and "Thank You for Smoking." He had one of his biggest roles to date in the summer, playing Harvey Dent/Two-Face in "The Dark Knight," the blockbuster that has grossed more than $997 million worldwide.

The story, written by Chris Bertolini, revolves around a Marine platoon's encounter in the battle on the streets of Los Angeles against an alien invasion. Eckhart will play the platoon leader in the film, which has yet to set a start date.

CAA-repped Eckhart next stars opposite Jennifer Aniston in "Traveling."

Sam Dickerman is overseeing the project for the studio.