Avary will play by Ellis' 'Rules' for Lions Gate

James Van Der Beek and “A Knight’s Tale” star Shannyn Sossamon will star in the feature adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ 1988 novel “The Rules of Attraction” for Lions Gate Films. Roger Avary (“Killing Zoe”) will direct from his screenplay adaptation.

“Rules” is set at a small, affluent, liberal arts college in New England. Much in the spirit of Lions Gate’s previous Ellis adaptation, “American Psycho,” pic is set in the height of the 1980s Reagan era. It takes a satiric look at three students as they try to sort through a romantic triangle and other travails of the self-consciously postmodern undergrad.

Ellis’ sophomore effort after his 1986 bestseller “Less Than Zero,” “Rules” contains characters that are connected to both “Zero” as well as “Psycho,” Ellis’ third novel.

Kingsgate Films’ Greg Shapiro will produce the film. Lions Gate production prexy Mike Paseornek and exec VP of production Marc Butan will oversee the shoot.

“Rules” will begin production Aug. 13 in Southern California and is set for a wide release next spring.

The star of “Dawson’s Creek,” Van Der Beek will be seen in the upcoming “Storytelling” and “Texas Rangers.” He is repped by Endeavor.

Sossamon next will be seen opposite Josh Hartnett in the upcoming “40 Days and 40 Nights.” She is repped by Endeavor.

Avary received an Oscar with Quentin Tarantino for their “Pulp Fiction” screenplay. He is repped by CAA.

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