Noah Wyle, who plays Dr. John Carter on ER, has been signed to star in The Populist as the man who helped Adolf Hitler charm the upper classes into financing the Third Reich. The film will be directed by Ted Kotcheff from a script by John Briley, who won an Oscar in 1983 for Gandhi.
Wyle, currently in Bart Freundlich's The Myth of Fingerprints, will begin shooting the $20-million film in Germany and Austria during his ER hiatus next spring and summer.
Australian actor Russell Crowe, one of the leads in L.A. Confidential, is in final talks with Disney to star as a hockey-playing sheriff in Alaska who leads his team against the New York Rangers.
David E. Kelley wrote the screenplay for the film, which was to be called The Game until another film starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn copped that title this year.