Fox has hired veteran animation director Carlos Saldanha to helm sci-fi fantasy movie “Timeless” as a possible franchise starter.

The project, based on the upcoming three-book series from Armand Baltazar, will be a live-action CG adaptation. Producers are Ridley Scott and Michael Schaefer of Scott Free Productions, Steve Tzirlin, Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment and Saldhana through his BottleCap Prods.

Scott Free senior VP Michael Pruss, who brought the project into the shingle,  will exec produce and oversee “Timeless.” Maresa Pullman, who oversees BottleCap, will also exec produce.

The book series, to be published by HarperCollins, occurs in Chicago after a “time collision” eliminates the barriers between the past, present and future. The story follows a boy and his friends who rescue his father from a Roman general.

Saldanha’s directing credits include the first three “Ice Age” films and the two “Rio” titles. He has a first-look deal at Fox.

Scott directed and produced “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” which Fox opens Dec. 12. Weaver is an executive producer with Steven Spielberg on CBS’ “Extant,” starring Halle Berry, and the upcoming “Run All Night” at Warner Bros.

Baltazar worked as an artist at Pixar on “Cars 2,” at Disney on “Brave” and at DreamWorks on “The Prince of Egypt.”

Baltazar is repped by Gernert, CAA and Energy. Saldanha is repped by WME and Newhouse Porter.

News was first reported by The Tracking Board.