Filling in the major blank in crew lineup for its "Atlas Shrugged", Lionsgate Films has appointed "House of Sand and Fog" maker Vadim Perelman to direct the picture also make a rewrite on the screenplay, originally penned by "Braveheart" scribe Randall Wallace.
Project has already signed Angelina Jolie in to be the female lead with Howard and Karen Baldwin producing alongside Geyer Kosinski of Media Talent Group, which most recently made "School for Scoundrels", a comedic flick toplined by Jolie's former husband Billy Bob Thornton.
Based on Ayn Rand's famed novel of the same name, "Atlas" focuses on what happens when great industrialists and thinkers go on strike and the world grinds to a halt. Wallace previously managed to boil down the author's manifesto of 1,100-plus pages into a 127-page script.
While the studio is in need to have a final screenplay done before formally committing to a start date, Perelman's hiring in turn puts it in a strong position for an early 2008 production start, just a shade over 50 years after the book was first published in 1957.