EXCLUSIVE: Gemma Arterton has been set to star in Catherine Shepherd’s directorial debut Like A Virgin. Kate Ogborn produces the feature project, which has been developed with the BFI. The story follows the character of Mary, who is visited by the Angel Gabriel while off her head following a night out. Gabriel tells her that she has been chosen by God to give birth to the next Messiah. The film looks at what happens when a girl who isn’t ready to grow up is chosen to save the world?

Shepherd is a mult-talented actress and writer. In addition to acting in the likes of Paddington, she has also previously worked on cult Brit comedy faves such as Peep Show, The IT Crowd and also collaborated with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse.

Arterton has been on a tear of late, with a number of prestige projects in the pipelines, including Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest Hour And A Half, Colm McCarthy’s She Who Brings Gifts and Arnaud des Pallieres’ Orpheline opposite Adele Exarchopoulos.

Fly Film was set up in 2009 by Emmy and Bafta award-winning producers Lisa Marie Russo and Kate Ogborn. They have produced feature films by Terence Davies, Ken Loach, Turner prize winning artist Gillian Wearing and artist and filmmaker Andrew Kotting. Their most recent film was Randall Wright’s Hockney. Ogborn is currently developing feature films with Marc Munden, Harry Wootliff, Grant Gee, Samantha Morton and Tony Grisoni.

Arterton is repped by Independent Talent Group, CAA and Agence Adequat. Shepherd is repped by Curtis Brown.