Warner Independent Pictures has hired “House of Sand and Fog” helmer Vadim Perelman to direct “Truce,” an original screenplay by Stuart Beattie.

Set during the early months of WWI, the film is based on the true story of British soldiers who emerged from their foxholes in northern France to defy their commanders, trust their enemy and bring about a one-day Christmas truce at the deadliest spot on earth.

Jennifer Klein’s Apartment 3B Prods. produces the film. Pic is aiming for a first-quarter start.

“It’s such an incredibly universal topic,” Perelman told Daily Variety. “It’s very similar subject matter to my last film, but on a macro scale. Since ‘House of Sand and Fog,’ I’ve never been moved by a script to such an extent.”

Participant Pictures will finance the project with Warner Independent Pictures.

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Executive producers are Jeff Skoll, Chris Salvaterra, Scott Foley, Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin.

Beattie based his script on a story contained in a magazine article Klein received from Foley, who’s best known as a star of the WB’s “Felicity” and for a recurring role on NBC’s “Scrubs.”

Pic is now being cast with hopes of beginning production in the first half of this year. Several locations are under consideration, but the pic will most likely shoot in Europe.

Beattie, whose credits include “Collateral” and the upcoming “Derailed,” wrote the screenplay from his pitch.