Acclaimed Uruguayan-born film-maker Israel Adrian Caetano, whose Chronicle Of An Escape was a hit in Cannes competition last year, is to direct $10m Argentina/France/US co-production Leopard In The Sun.

The film is based on Laura Restrepo's best-selling 1993 novel about a feud between two Colombian drug families which escalates into a bloody, high-stakes war.

Fernando Sulichin's Paris-based Central Films, Chris Hanley's Muse Productions (US) and Argentinian producers Daniela Romano and Marilu Varsky will co-produce the film to be shot next July in Colombian locations.

The cast is yet to be confirmed, but Spanish Javier Bardem is in negotiation to star. Caetano co-wrote the screenplay with Roberta Hanley
Caetano is one of the most talented and successful directors from the Argentinian New Wave of young film-makers which emerged during the 1990s. Among his other films are Bolivia and A Read Bear.