Will Rokos, theOscar-nominated co-writer of Monster's Ball, has signed on with Artisan Pictures to write thescreenplay for Artisan's update of Keith Waterhouse's novel BillyLiar, which was turned into a hitplay by Waterhouse and Willis Hall and the classic 1963 film directed by JohnSchlesinger.

Paul A Kaufman, who broughtthe project to Artisan Pictures, is set to produce the film which is the storyof a man who escapes his dreary small-town life by creating a rich fantasy lifeabout which he lies to everyone, including the two women who think they aregoing to marry him. Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie starred in the originalfilm.

Rokos has two originalscreenplays currently in development elsewhere - The Swedish Job being produced by Janet Yang's Manifest Filmsand directed by James Merendino and Shadowboxer which David Paymer is attached to direct.

Rokos is represented byAngela Cheng Caplan of Writers And Artists, who negotiated the deal with ErinAustin, senior vice president of business and legal affairs with ArtisanEntertainment. Artisan Pictures vice president of production and developmentOrin Woinsky will oversee the film for Artisan.

Artisan Pictures is the filmdevelopment and production arm of Artisan Entertainment and is run by BobCooper.