'Prisoners' Director Boards Sci-Fi Drama 'Story of Your Life' (Exclusive)

Denis Villeneuve - P 2013
<p>Denis Villeneuve - P 2013</p>   |   Getty Images
21 Laps, Film Nation and Lava Bear are producing the sci-fi adaptation of a Ted Chiang short story.

Denis Villeneuve, the director of the acclaimed thriller Prisoners, has signed on to direct The Story of Your Life, an adaptation of a short story by Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Ted Chiang.

Eric Heisserer has written the script for the project, which is being financed and produced by FilmNation and David Linde's Lava Bear Films. Also producing are 21 Laps' Shawn Levy and Dan Levine.

Chiang's story was published in 1998 and won the Nebula for best novella amid a slew of nominations, garnering praise for tacking the theme of language and free will.

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The story is set in motion when alien crafts land around the world and an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit.

Heisserer is also executive producing.

Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder will oversee production of the film on behalf of FilmNation, while Tory Metzger shepherds on behalf of Lava Bear. Levine and Dan Cohen are 21 Laps' spearheaders.

The goal is to shoot later this year.

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Villeneuve is the French-Canadian director who was behind the Canadian films Polytechnique and Incendies, which was nominated for an Oscar in the best foreign film category. He is known for his thoughtful tackling of tough subject matters.

He became Hollywood's new hot director and go-to guy for complex thrillers after Prisoners, the thriller starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, garnered much critical praise when it was released last September.

Villeneuve is repped by CAA.