Michael Pena To Join Nicolas Cage In Oliver Stone's 9/11 Film

Pair will portray policemen trapped in wreckage of World Trade Center.

Nicolas Cage now has a co-star to join him in Oliver Stone's upcoming film about 9/11: Michael Pena, who also appeared in "Million Dollar Baby" and "Crash."

The untitled project will star Cage as well as Pena depicting real-life policemen who became trapped during rescue efforts after the collapse of the World Trade Center and were among the last rescued from the site. Cage will play Sgt. John McLoughlin, while Pena will play officer William J. Jimeno. Their supporting cast includes Maria Bello as Donna, McLoughlin's wife, and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Jimeno's wife, Allison.

"[Andrea Berloff's script] walloped me — and many others — with its emotion and simplicity," Stone said in a statement. "It's a work of collective passion, a serious meditation on what happened, and carries within [it] a compassion that heals. It's an exploration of heroism in our country, but it's international at the same time in its humanity."

The film's producers paired up the actors with their real-life counterparts so they could get a sense of each other during the casting process.

"I was really impressed when I met Will [Jimeno]," Pena said in a separate statement. "The police motto, 'protect and serve,' really means something to him. All he ever wanted to do is be a cop. It's one thing to read that on the page, but another thing to hear him say it. It feels great to be making a movie about great cops."

"As a survivor of 9/11 I want people never to forget those that died," Jimeno said. "It will also be a tribute to all those who gave everything they had to bring people home to their loved ones."

Paramount Pictures said the movie is expected to be released next year.

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