Followinghis success with murder-mystery Gosford Park, US directorRobert Altman is set to return to the UK.

He isattached to direct The Tortoise And The Hare, due to shoot in London nextyear from a screenplay by Andrew Davies.

Theproject is being produced by industry veteran Alan Ladd Jr.

EmmaThompson is in talks to board the film, likely to be financed by Picturehouse.

"It'sa relationship movie," Ladd commented. "There are four major partsand a couple of other very good parts, but it is not a big ensemble like Gosford Park."

Ladd wasspeaking to Screen International onthe eve of his visit to the Flanders International Festival in Ghent, wherehe is due today (Oct 12) to pick up the Joseph Plateau Lifetime AchievementAward.