Michael Aptedhas signed on to direct the political thriller Amazing Grace, a Walden Media, Sunflower Productionsand FourBoys Films co-production about 18th century British politician WilliamWilberforce's campaign to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire.

Dirty PrettyThings screenwriterSteven Knight will write the script, while Terrence Malick and Ed Pressman willproduce for Sunflower Productions along with Patricia Heaton and David Hunt forFourBoys Films, and Ken Wales.

Jeanney Kim willserve as executive producer, and vice president of production Jackie Levine andcreative executive David Kaufmann will oversee the project on behalf of WaldenMedia, reporting to executive vice president of production Alex Schwartz.

"We are thrilledto have talent on the calibre of Michael Apted and Steven Knight on board tobring the story of this great man to life," Walden Media chief executiveofficer Cary Granat said in a statement.

"Michael andSteven come to the project with sterling credentials, and we are confident thattheir vision of William Wilberforce's incredible story will inspire audiencesthe world over."

Wilberforce waselected to the House of Commons aged 21, and went on to forge a strong butperilous alliance with the Prime Minister William Pitt that eventually toppledthe slave trade.