DeVito vows 'Confessions'

Directs Ronan, Freeman, Brosnan in family pic

Danny DeVito will direct Saoirse Ronan, Morgan Freeman and Pierce Brosnan in the family adventure "The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle."

Although he will not appear onscreen, DeVito has written the screenplay based on the novel by the author who writes under the name Avi. The 19th century-set tale centers on a young girl (Ronan) who joins in a shipboard rebellion.

Ronan, who earned an Oscar nomination for "Atonement," next will be seen in "City of Ember" and "The Lovely Bones." Freeman appears in "Wanted," and Brosnan is in "Mamma Mia!" which opens Friday.

HandMade Films is financing along with Plaza Productions International, a New York-based property and hotel group that is part of Isaac Tshuva's El-Ad U.S. Holding. The full lineup of production entities involved also includes DeVito's new banner Jersey Films 2nd Avenue (a successor company to his Jersey Films), Freeman's Revelations Entertainment and Brosnan's Irish DreamTime.

Michele Weisler, Lori McCreary, Beau St. Clair and Patrick Meehan will serve as producers with Thomas D. Adelman and Hawk Koch as exec producers. Koch also will serve as line producer.

HandMade Films International is handling worldwide sales, with CAA managing U.S. rights.

Filming is set to begin in September for a 2009 release. (partialdiff)