NEW YORK – Nearly four years after the collapse of the World Trade Center, Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone (search) will direct a film based on the story of two police officers who were trapped in the rubble on Sept. 11, 2001.
Nicolas Cage (search), who won a best-actor Oscar for "Leaving Las Vegas," will star as Port Authority police Sgt. John McLoughlin. McLoughlin and fellow officer William J. Jimeno became trapped during rescue efforts after the collapse of the twin towers.
Paramount Pictures said the movie is expected to be released next year.
"It's a work of collective passion, a serious meditation on what happened and carries within a compassion that heals," Stone said in a statement Friday. "It's an exploration of heroism in our country — but it's international at the same time in its humanity."
Paramount said the film also will focus on the officers' rescuers and their families. McLoughlin and Jimeno are said to be the last two men rescued.
"I feel someone had to tell the story of the people who were in the Trade Center before and after it collapsed," McLoughlin said in a statement. "It needs to be told how this horrific tragedy brought Americans and the world together to help those in need."
While the star power of Stone and Cage will likely make the movie the most high profile film to tackle 9/11, it's not the first. Many independent films have turned their lens to downtown New York, and in the 2002 film "The Guys," Anthony LaPaglia played a fire captain who lost eight men in the towers' collapse.
Stone has won best-director Oscars for "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July." He also has directed "Alexander," "Nixon," "JFK" and "Wall Street."
Screen credits for Cage include "Adaptation," "City of Angels" and "Moonstruck."