Sriram Das’ Santa Monica-based Das Films and GreeneStreet Films have hired British film-maker Miguel Sapochnik to direct The Contortionist’s Handbook. Production is due to start in May next year.

Glen Basner’s FilmNation is handling international sales at AFM.

Sapochnik is currently finishing off Universal’s sci-fi thriller Repo Men starring Jude Law and Carice van Houten. The director made a big splash with his first feature, the 15-minute short The Dreamer in 2000.

Robin Shushan adapted the screenplay based on Craig Clevenger’s novel about a young forger who continually reinvents himself to stay out of prison until he meets a beautiful but haunted woman.

The project is out to casting and is being financed by GreeneStreet, whose John Penotti and Tim Williams will produce with Das and Melanie Shanley.

The Contortionist’s Handbook is the story of one of the most enigmatic and compelling characters I’ve read,” Das, who optioned the novel and assembled the project with GreeneStreet, said. “We are enthusiastic about Miguel’s vision for the film, which we feel will produce a commercial and entertaining movie for global audiences.”

Contortionists handbook is a romantic thriller about lost souls,” Sapochnik added. “Robin’s writing elevates it from a genre piece into a ironic, tragic and often hilarious character dissection of a mid-life crisis in reverse.”

“The unique world of this story coupled with Miguel’s amazingly visual style, as is evidenced in both The Dreamer and Repossession Mambo [now Repo Men] are the perfect marriage of imaginative narrative and compelling images,” GreeneStreet’s Penotti said. “It will be a film which will both captivate and entertain on all levels because of the thrill of its main characters.”

Brian Kornreich negotiated the deal on behalf of GreeneStreet and Warren Dern and AJ Brandenstein of Sloan, Offer, Weber and Dern represented Sapochnik.

Sapochnik is represented by WME, Casarotto Ramsay & Associates and Seth Jaret at Jaret Entertainment.