Sahara: According to Variety, actress Penelope Cruz is in talks to join the cast of Sahara, which stars Matthew McConaughey. It's an adaptation of Clive Cussler's 1992 best-selling Dirk Pitt series and Cruz will play the role of Eva Rojas, a U.N. scientist who is threatened with assassination while investigating a disease driving North Africans into madness and threatening to extinguish life in the world's seas. McConaughey is playing secret agent, treasure hunter and explorer Dirk Pitt. Steve Zahn will portray Pitt's wisecracking sidekick.