James McAvoy set for cancer comedy

Plays a 25-year-old based on screenwriter Will Reiser

In his first role since last summer's hit "Wanted," James McAvoy has signed on to star in Mandate's untitled cancer comedy that Nicole Holofcener will direct.

Formerly titled "I'm With Cancer," the project is being produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Ben Karlin and will begin principal photography in January.

McAvoy stars as a 25-year-old who learns he has cancer. It's a character based on the real experiences of screenwriter Will Reiser, who was diagnosed with the disease in his mid-20s and successfully battled it over several years.

Rogen also has a role in the film.

Reiser is executive producing along with Mandate president Nathan Kahane. Mandate's Tendo Nagenda will co-produce. UTA, which represents all parties, packaged the film.

Holofcener is known for directing character-driven comedies such as "Walking & Talking" and "Friends With Money." She has "Please Give," starring Catherine Keener and Rebecca Hall, in the can.

McAvoy broke through with his role in "The Last King of Scotland" and starred with Keira Knightley in "Atonement." It was his role as a reluctant assassin opposite Angelina Jolie in "Wanted," however, that introduced him to broader audiences.

McAvoy is additionally repped by the U.K.'s United Agents.