EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters) is to direct Hermann Hesse’s 1930 international bestseller and cult novel Narcissus and Goldmund.

Producers Helge Sasse (Tempest Film) and Christoph Müller (Mythos Film) are in Cannes to meet potential partners for the international project which is set to have a double-digit million Euros budget.

Ruzowitzky, who has just completed shooting the US thriller Patient Zero in London, is also writing the screenplay for the story with a setting in the late Middle Ages.

Principal photography is set to begin in late summer 2016.

Other novels by Hesse such as Siddharta, Steppenwolf and Demian were adapted by filmmakers in the past for the cinema, with German broadcaster ARD tackling his 1909 novella Die Heimkehr in 2011.

Narcissus and Goldmund is one of the first projects being planned by former Senator Entertainment CEO Helge Sasse at his new production outfit Tempest Film which he launched last summer with Solveig Fina.

Christoph Müller’s Berlin-based company Mythos Film is currently in production with David Wnendt’s adaptation of Timur Vermes’ bestselling debut novel, the social satire Look Who’s Back.