Golden Globe nominee Ellen Page is to follow her acclaimed turn in Juno by appearing in Drew Barrymore's directorial debut.

Whip It! tells the story of Texan teenage outcast Bliss who emerges from a hell of endless beauty pageants to find her true calling in the world of female roller derby.

The screenplay was penned by Shauna Cross - known in the roller derby circuit as Maggie Mayhem - and Charlie's Angels star Barrymore will begin shooting the feature in the summer.

"I've been working toward the goal of directing my entire life," Barrymore told Variety. "Whip It! is a story that really spoke to me."

Page was nominated in the best actress in a musical or comedy category at the Golden Globes - losing out to La Vie En Rose star Marion Cotillard - and was today named in the best actress shortlist for this year's Orange BAFTA film awards, up against the prestigious company of Cate Blanchett, Julie Christie and Keira Knightley.

Her role as pregnant teen Juno in Jason Reitman's indie success story - the movie had risen from tenth in the US box office to third while the soundtrack sits comfortably in the Billboard top five - has earmarked Page as a future acting great.

Though she is likely to shoot another project before working on Whip It!, Page told the trade newspaper she was attracted by the chance to work with a former child star.

"I really admire how Drew constantly challenges herself as an artist," Page said.

"She's proven herself as an actress and a producer, and I have No Doubt she'll bring great vision and creativity to the director's chair. I can't wait to kick ass on wheels!"

16/01/2008 12:54:04