The production of well-known "Ali and Nino" love story by Azerbaijani author who wrote under the pen name Kurban Said is aiming for a 2015 shoot.
The story tells of an Azerbaijani young man who falls in love with a Georgian princess. "Ali and Nino" was first published in 1937, by now it has been translated into 37 languages worldwide with nearly 100 reprints.
Baku magazine reports the presentation of the project has been held at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
Adam Bakri, an actor best known for playing the leading role in Hany Abu-Assad's film "Omar" which has been shortlisted in the 86th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, will play a major role - Azerbaijani Alikhan Shirvanshir- the beloved of beautiful Georgian Nino.
Kris Thyker's "PeaPie Films" have acquired the feature film rights of the novel.
British screenwriter Christopher Hampton will adapt the script, while another British filmmaker, Asif Kapadia, will direct the film.
The story sets against the historical backdrop of World War I on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. The tragic story of Ali Khan Shirvanshir, the male descendant of a royal Muslim family, and Nino Kipiani, a beautiful, Christian, Georgian princess, is described in this epic love novel.
Ali and Nino live in the oil-rich capital of Azerbaijan, which at the beginning of the 20th century is a melting pot of different cultures. Despite differences in cultures, they have loved each other since childhood, and Ali is determined to marry Nino as soon as she leaves school.
Their love undergoes family differences, religious dissimilarities and a challenging political situation as Azerbaijan fights for independence.
Many studies have been conducted to find the author of the popular story; however, researchers have not yet arrived at a single conclusion.
There is also a sculpture dedicated to this love story, called the Statue of Love, on the seashore boulevard of Batumi, Georgia, created by Georgian artist Tamara Kvesitadze. It is a 7-meter steel sculpture of a man and a woman moving toward each other and merging into one piece every 10 minutes.
Earlier, Hampton who won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1988 for "Dangerous Liaisons" and went on to write "Atonement" and "A Dangerous Method" among other creations, said he fell in love with this beautifully written story, which is in many ways as relevant and resonant today as it was when it was first published.
"I am delighted to be working on this project," he said.
Thyker said, "We are thrilled to have attracted one of the world's finest writers to bring this captivating novel to the screen. Ali and Nino is one of the great works of the 20th century, as evocative of the exotic desert landscape as it is the passion between two people pulled apart by culture, religion, and war."