US producer Jim Jacks, whose track record includes the Mummy franchise and A Simple Plan, has signed on to the supernatural action thriller Mortis Rex.

Principal photography is scheduled to begin in spring 2010 in the UK, Italy and Eastern Europe.

Hellboy co-writer Peter Briggs makes his feature directorial debut on the story of a disgraced Roman soldier who is given the chance to redeem himself when he investigates a spate of brutal murders.

Jacks will produce through his Frelaine Productions alongside Stuart Pollok, Matthew Dench and Marisa Kagan. Dominic Ianno played a key role in securing the financing and will serve as executive producer.

Worldwide rights holder Intandem Films is also on board as executive producer and will talk to buyers at AFM. Indeed deals have already concluded with Civic Index in Russia, Falcon in the Middle East, Lusomundo in Portugal, Spentzos in Greece, and Bridge in Benelux.

“I’ve always been interested in Roman history in general and the dark myths surrounding the building of Hadrian’s Wall in particular,” Jacks said. “Mortis Rex’s uniquely original, blood chilling telling of the legend of the Lost Legion with a monster movie twist has the makings of a truly exciting and commercial movie that is sure to spark excitement from global audiences.”

Intandem Films director Andrew Brown said Jack’s involvement was “proof positive” of the project’s global appeal. He added: “Peter Briggs is an exceptional craftsman who has created an amazing, terrifying world based on true fact and we are excited that he will direct a superb hi-end supernatural live-action film that will have worldwide appeal.”