Miller's 'Spirit' finds love with Paulson


Sarah Paulson has joined the cast of "Will Eisner's The Spirit," comic auteur Frank Miller's directorial effort featuring the classic comic strip character. Also joining the cast are Dan Lauria, Stana Katic, Johnny Simmons and Louis Lombardi.

Paulson joins leading ladies Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson in the film noir about a rookie cop who returns from the dead to fight crime as the Spirit from the shadows of Central City. However, while Mendes and Johansson are playing femme fatales, Paulson is playing the hero's true love, Dr. Ellen Dolan, the police commissioner's daughter.

Gabriel Macht is on board as Denny Colt/the Spirit, and Samuel L. Jackson will play the villainous Octopus.

Lauria (ABC's mini "The Path to 9/11") is playing the police commissioner, while Katic ("Feast of Love") is a rookie cop. Simmons ("Evan Almighty") plays a young Denny Colt, while Lombardi (Fox's "24") will play Phobos, a henchman for the Octopus.

Production will begin in October in New Mexico and will be shot entirely at Albuquerque Studios.

Odd Lot Entertainment's Deborah Del Prete and Gigi Pritzker will produce along with Michael Uslan of Batfilm Prods. Batfilm co-founder Benjamin Melniker and Steve Maier are executive producers. Odd Lot's Linda McDonough and Batfilm's F.J. DeSanto serve as co-producers.

Odd Lot and Lionsgate are production partners on "Spirit," with Lionsgate holding domestic and U.K. rights. It is scheduled to release the film in 2009.

Paulson was nominated for a Golden Globe earlier this year for her work on NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." She is repped by ICM and Joan Hyler Management.