Danny DeVito will direct The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle from his own screenplay for HandMade Films and El-Ad US Holding's Plaza Productions International.

The family action adventure will star Morgan Freeman, Pierce Brosnan and Saoirse Ronan, who earned an Oscar nomination this year for her role in Atonement.

DeVito, who will not appear in the film, is preparing to commence principal photography in September.

The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle takes place around 1830 and centres on an adventurous young girl who braves the high seas aboard a ship with a ruthless captain and a mutinous crew. It is based on the bestseller by the children's author Avi (aka Edward Irving Wortis).

Michele Weisler, Lori McCreary, Beau St Clair and Patrick Meehan will produce and Thomas D Adelman and Hawk Koch serve as executive producers.

HandMade Films is financing the project along with New York-based property and hotel group Plaza Productions International. HandMade Films International is handling international sales and CAA is representing US rights.

Plaza Productions International, Freeman and McCreary's Revelations Entertainment and Brosnan's Irish DreamTime join HandMade and DeVito's Jersey Films 2nd Avenue as production entities.

Charlotte Doyle is the first feature to be produced under DeVito's Jersey Films 2nd Avenue label Jersey Films 2nd Avenue, the successor company to Jersey Films where DeVito was a partner.

Patrick Meehan and Gregg Homer brokered the deal with DeVito, Fred Specktor of CAA and Joel Behr of the law firm of Behr and Abramson.