May 19, 2009 at 04:02 AM EDT

Dustin Lance Black, who just won an Academy Award for his Milk screenplay, will direct Liam Neeson and Jennifer Connelly in his feature directing debut, What’s Wrong With Virginia. The project, based on a script by Black, centers on a psychologically disturbed mother (Connelly) who has been entangled in a 20-year secret love affair with a highly visible Mormon sheriff (Neeson), who is running for a state senate seat. TicTock Studios will finance the picture and produce alongside Killer Films. Milk director Gus Van Sant will exec produce. Production is expected to begin at the end of summer in Michigan.

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