Jared Leto is to make his feature film directorial debut with new crime thriller 77.

The Academy Award-winning actor will take the helm of the movie for Paramount and Wolf Films, and will also produce alongside Dick Wolf and Tony Ganz, according to Deadline.

The film is set in politically-charged Los Angeles in the '70s, and tells the story of two police officers who team up to find kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, while also investigating the murder of a fellow officer. They uncover corruption and crime in their investigation, as well as a dark conspiracy.

In 1974, Hearst was abducted by a left-wing terrorist group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and after being isolated and threatened with death, she became supportive of their cause, making propaganda announcements and taking part in illegal activities. Hearst was found 19 months after her kidnapping, by which time she was a fugitive wanted for serious crimes.

She was held in custody, despite speculation that her family's resources would prevent her spending time in jail and she was eventually found guilty of bank robbery, though later pardoned by President Bill Clinton.

Boardwalk Empire screenwriter David Matthews has written the latest draft of the screenplay, with the original script having been penned by L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy.

In 2011, Deadline reported Gladiator actor Russell Crowe would make his directorial debut with 77, but going on six years later, it appears Leto has been handed his place.

While 77 will mark Leto's first major directing project, his other credits behind the camera include the documentary Artifact, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2012, and the documentary series Into the Wild. He has also directed numerous critically acclaimed music videos and commercials under the pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins.

As an actor, Leto was most recently seen as the Joker in Warner Bros.' Suicide Squad and will next be seen in the highly anticipated sci-fi flick Blade Runner 2049, opposite Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling.