Likely Story has acquired feature rights to the upcoming political thriller novel The Amateur American and set Ross Katz to adapt the screenplay and direct.

New York-based Likely Story and the production company's founder Anthony Bregman will produce the story based on J Saunders Elmore's novel about a young American in France who gets involved in murder when he takes a translating job for a shady powerbroker.

'The Amateur American is this generation's Three Days Of The Condor,' Bregman said. 'It's a swift, smart, complex novel of a young man stumbling into a murky world of contemporary terrorism and counter-terrorism, where the mechanics of deception override the politics.'

Bregman said he knew Katz would be the right fit when he saw an early print of Katz's directorial debut on HBO's upcoming drama Taking Chance starring Kevin Bacon.

'[This] represents a radical departure for me and I'm ecstatic to be diving into the world of his riveting thriller,' Katz, who previously produced Lost In Translation and In The Bedroom, said.

Likely Story's head of development Stefanie Azpiazu negotiated the film rights deal with Nick Harris at RSWH Agency on behalf of Chris Parris-Lamb at The Gernert Company.

Likely Story's production credits include Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer, David and Alex Pastor's Carriers and an untitled Nicole Holofcener project set up at Sony Pictures Classics.

Bregman's credits include The Savages, Friends With Money, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Lovely & Amazing, Thumbsucker and The Ice Storm.