Nicolas Cage will direct and star in the independent thriller “Vengeance: A Love Story.”

Variety reported last month that Cage was on board to play a detective in the film. Michael Mendelsohn, CEO of Patriot Pictures and Union Patriot Capital Management, is producing. Shooting is set to begin in April in Atlanta.

Cage is directing from a John Mankiewicz screenplay, based on Joyce Carol Oates’ 2003 novel “Rape: A Love Story.”

Oates’ novel centers on the aftermath a gang rape, with the victim left for dead in a park boathouse. The woman is a single mother in her 30s, and the attack is witnessed by her daughter — whose credibility is attacked at the subsequent trial. A policeman who is a Gulf War veteran becomes her unexpected champion.

“I’m excited to work on ‘Vengeance: A Love Story’ and bring Joyce Carol Oates’ bittersweet novel to the screen,” Cage said. “Storytelling has always been my passion and I’m honored to work with this talented team to tell a tale of the suffering too many women have endured.”

The film’s executive producers are Harold Becker, who initially developed the picture and was previously attached as a director on the film; Mike Nilon; and Hannibal Classics topper Richard Rionda Del Castro. Hannibal Classics is handling sales on the film.

Cage and Mendelson collaborated on the World War II movie “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage,” which was filmed last summer in Alabama. Mario Van Peebles directed, and Saban Films acquired U.S. rights for the movie, which centered on what happened after the ship was torpedoed in the South Pacific in July 1945, after delivering parts for the first atomic bombs.

Mankiewicz is a co-executive producer on “House of Cards.”

Cage’s deals were negotiated by CAA, manager Mike Nilon and Patrick Knapp.