Jack Finney novel has long been pursued for a feature adaptation

A book Hollywood has spent decades trying to bring to the bigscreen is getting another shot, this time from helmer Doug Liman.

Lionsgate has acquired feature film rights to Jack Finney’s illustrated novel “Time and Again.” Liman is set to direct and produce with his Hypnotic partner Dave Bartis.

First published in 1970, the romantic time-travel tale follows Simon Morley, a Manhattan illustrator who enlists in a secret government experiment and is transported from the mid-20th century to 1882 New York, where he falls in love and finds himself forced to choose between his lives in the present and the past.Novel initially sold 27,000 copies in hardcover and went on to move more than 200,000 copies over the years. Finney, author of the fantasy classic “The Body Snatchers,” wrote a sequel, “From Time to Time,”published in 1996, one year after his death.

CAA brokered the rights deal with Michael Congdon of Don Congdon Associates, which reps Finney’s estate.

Erik Feig, Mike Paseornek, Gillian Bohrer and Jeyun Choi will oversee the project for Lionsgate.

Project has a long history, as Robert Redford began developing “Time and Again” for Universal Pictures in the mid-1990s after he was introduced to the book by Paul Newman. Newman, Woodward and their producing partner John Foreman were the first to option the rights.

Tom Thayer, former prexy of Universal Television, also tried to turn “Time and Again” into a network miniseries. Numerous filmmakers have also expressed interest in the property over the years.

Liman is known as a versatile helmer whose work has ranged from indie fare such as “Swingers” and “Go” to action pics including “The Bourne Identity” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” And he’s no stranger to the sci-fi genre. Liman directed 2008’s Hayden Christensen thriller “Jumper,” and he’s currently prepping WB’s “All You Need Is Kill,” which will star Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.

Liman is repped by CAA and attorney Alan Grodin.

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