By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 25, 2002 01:00 PM

Brad Pitt is due Down Under, where he is set to star alongside actresses Cate Blanchett and Ellen Burstyn in the science-fiction epic “The Fountain,” according to Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. The picture, which reportedly will tell the story of one man’s adventures in the present as well as 500 years in the past and 500 years in the future, is scheduled to begin production in late October in Queensland and Sydney. As the Reporter notes, the $70 million-plus film will mark the first movie performance by Pitt, 38, since his role as one of George Clooney’s cohorts in last year’s “Ocean’s Eleven,” although he does makes a small appearance, playing himself, in director Steven Soderbergh’s “Full Frontal,” which opens next week. (Soderbergh also directed “Ocean’s Eleven.”) “The Fountain” will be directed by its co-screenwriter, Darren Aronofsky, whose most recent film was 2000’s “Requiem for a Dream,” for which Burstyn, 69, was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. Variety notes that “The Fountain” was actually due to start last year, but was put on hold by its studio, Warner Bros. (which, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner), due to script and budgetary issues as well Blanchett’s pregnancy. Last December, the actress, 33, gave birth to a son, Dashiell John Upton.