EXCLUSIVE: Todd Haynes and Christine Vachon board Number 9’s drama starring Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska.

Todd Haynes is newly attached to direct Number 9’s drama Carol, set to star Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska.

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The Oscar-nominated director of Far from Heaven will reunite with Blanchett, who starred in his acclaimed Bob Dylan biopic I’m Not There in 2007, for which the actress won a Golden Globe.

Number 9’s Elizabeth Karlsen is lead producer alongside Stephen Woolley while Haynes’ regular collaborator Christine Vachon will co-produce the project.

The film is also backed by Film4 and HanWay handles sales.

Haynes and Vachon were in Cannes together in 1998 with Competition title Velvet Goldmine.

Carol is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novella, The Price of Salt, which follows a relationship between two women in 1950s New York: a girl in her twenties, played by Wasikowska, who works in a department store but dreams of a more fulfilling life and a wife trapped in a loveless, moneyed marriage.

Playwright and theatre director Phyllis Nagy, who previously wrote HBO drama Mrs Harris, will adapt Highsmith’s story.

Karlsen, producer of Great Expectations and Byzantium, told Screen: “Todd is without a doubt one of the most talented directors working today. His attachment to direct this script and cast is a dream come true.”

John Crowley had been due to direct the project, which was announced at Cannes in 2012, but left the film due to scheduling conflicts.

The project has long been a passion project for Karlsen, who last week spoke to the BBC about the lack of major roles for women in film.

“A recent report from the USC Annenberg School revealed the lack of major speaking parts for women in 2012,” the producer told Screen.

“As a female producer, that report has only renewed my passion and inspiration for this film because there are very few of these roles out there for the likes of Cate and Mia.”

The report found that, in 2012, women held less than one-third of speaking roles in “high-grossing” films, the lowest number since 2007.