Jake Gyllenhaal has beenconfirmed as the lead in Universal's Gulf War drama Jarhead, which Sam Mendes will direct based on US MarineAnthony Swofford's memoirs.

William Broyles Jr adaptedthe screenplay and Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce under their Red Wagonbanner. Ivan Fenyo, Laz Alonso, Evan Jones, Jacob Vargas, Brian Geraghty and Lucas Black are attached to play fellow marines.

Production is scheduled tobegin later this year on Jarhead,a provocative coming-of-age account of soldiers who question their involvementin a distant war they don't understand.

Gyllenhaal will next be seenin Brokeback Mountain and Proof; his previous credits include Donnie Darko, TheDay After Tomorrow and The GoodGirl.