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After the implosive one-two punch comprising his recent tandem War. Inc. and Grace is Gone (not to mention, of course, his spellbinding online short film featuring Diablo Cody as "Girl Who Thought He'd Be Cooler"), fortune may yet favor the slumping John Cusack. Or at least that's the only option our optimistic hearts will allow upon reading about the actor's reported next project, a massive-budget, honest-to-goodness end-of-the-world film by apocalypse maven Roland Emmerich:

John Cusack is in negotiations to star in director Roland Emmerich's (10,000 B.C., The Day After Tomorrow) new disaster movie 2012 for Sony Pictures. The title refers to the year the world is supposed to end after a global cataclysm. Cusack is negotiating to play Jackson Curtis, a divorced dad who alternates between writing and driving a limo. ...

Sony acquired the project in a high-stakes bidding war and is aiming for a summer 2009 release. The price tag for the special-effects laden movie could reach $200 million.

The Hollywood Reporter has stepped in over the last hour to specify a July 10, 2009, release date and to talk down the budget below $200 million — a staggering number under any circumstances, but most certainly for a film featuring John Cusack as a divorced limo driver. By the director of 10,000 BC. Alas, we'll miss this one anyway because this is the part of the post where we shoot ourselves.

[Photo Credit: Wireimage]