John Cusack To Topline 2012 For Columbia

John Cusack has signed on to star in Roland Emmerich's apocalyptic thriller 2012 for Columbia Pictures, according to VARIETY.

Chiwetel Ejiofor is in talks to join him in the big-budget epic, whose title refers to the end days of human civilization as predicted by the ancient Mayan calendar.

The story starts with a global apocalypse, then chronicles the heroic struggle of the survivors. Emmerich and Harald Kloser wrote the script, which Sony bought in February. Barring a Screen Actors Guild strike, shooting will begin in July in Los Angeles.

Mark Gordon, Kloser and Larry Franco are producing; Emmerich is executive producing.