Morgan Freeman will thwart terrorist attack. He'll star in ''Circle William'' as a naval commander who foils a chemical conspiracy

Morgan Freeman helped Ben Affleck fight an anti-American terrorist conspiracy in this summer’s adapatation of Tom Clancy’s ”The Sum of All Fears.” Now, Variety reports he’s signed to combat a similar plot in ”Circle William.” It’s based on a novel by CIA spokesman Bill Harlow, who has served as both a naval captain and an assistant White House press secretary, and whose résumé informs his characters’ jobs. In the film, which Freeman will also coproduce through his Revelations Entertainment banner, he will play the commander of a battleship who teams up with his brother, a White House press secretary, to thwart a chemical attack on the U.S. by Libyan terrorists.

Writing the film is Peter Iliff, whose spy-thriller experience includes the adaptation of Clancy’s ”Patriot Games,” and who also scripted Freeman’s police drama ”Under Suspicion.” ”We slowed the progress of this project because of 9/11,” Freeman’s producing partner, Lori McCreary, told Variety, ”but it focuses on the quiet heroes of the world that we never hear about, the kind that Morgan plays so well.”

”Circle” is part of a two-year first-look deal Revelations has signed with Paramount, the studio for whom Freeman has starred as Alex Cross in the thrillers ”Kiss the Girls” and ”Along Came a Spider.” That means that Paramount could also get to make ”Rendezvous with Rama,” an adaptation of the sci-fi classic by ”2001” author Arthur C. Clarke, which Freeman has been developing with ”Panic Room” director David Fincher.