Thesp to star in Bruckheimer's big-city adventure

After a several-month-long, cross-country search, a muse has been found.

Piper Perabo has been cast as the femme lead in “Coyote Ugly,” a Bruckheimer Prods. film in association with Touchstone. The story centers on a young woman who loses and finds herself during a big-city adventure.

Perabo, 22, who comes from Toms River, N.J., will play Violet, who leaves her native New Jersey to pursue her dream of becoming a songwriter in New York City. She finds her aspirations sidelined by the notoriety she receives in her “day” job as a sexy barmaid in the hip nightclub Coyote Ugly.

“Coyote” producer Jerry Bruckheimer, currently shooting “Gone in Sixty Seconds,” said, “She’s got great reality as an actress. She can do humor and comedy and the dramatic stuff, and she also can sing. That’s hard to find.”

Bruckheimer, working with New York-based casting director Bonnie Timmerman, plans to cast the remaining actors. David McNally will direct.

Perabo also will appear in the forthcoming “Whiteboys” and “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.”

The screenplay for “Coyote” was penned by Gina Wendkos, based on bartender Elizabeth Gilbert’s GQ article about the real Coyote Ugly bar in lower Manhattan. The film, budgeted at slightly less than $40 million, will begin production in mid-August. Pic will be shot in New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles.

Perabo was repped by Tina Thor and Jonathan Cohen of TMT Entertainment as well as her agent at UTA.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more