Sought-after young Britishdirector Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice)and writer David Nicholls (Starter forTen) are collaborating on a new version of Patrick Hamilton's classic 1941novel, Hangover Square, for Fox/DNA. Dixie Linder is to producethe feature, currently in development at DNA.

Fox own the rights to Hamilton's novel. It has been filmedfor the screen once before, but Fox's 1945 version bore little resemblance tothe book on which it was ostensibly based. Wright and Nicholls' versionpromises to stick far closer to the source material.

"What was interesting to uswas that Joe and David, two people we admire a lot, have an absolute passionfor this material," DNA's Allon Reich "We reacted toextremely talented people saying they're obsessed with the book."

Set in 1939, Hangover Square is the story of the haplessdrunk, George Harvey Bone, and his erotic obsession with femme fatale Netta.

Hamilton (1904-1962) is a writerhugely in vogue. He is seen as the supreme chronicler of London's Bohemian demimonde of thelate 1930s.

His novels are inhabited by chancers, alcoholics and prostitutes who spend too muchtime in seedy London pubs. The BBC recently won plaudits forits adaptation of Hamilton's celebrated trilogy, 20,000 Streets UnderThe Sky. "Patrick Hamilton has been rediscovered as the link betweenCharles Dickens and Martin Amis," Reich suggested

Following the success of Pride and Prejudice, Wright has beenbesieged by offers, but Hangover Square is clearly one project he is determined to pushforward. "It was him who came to us first and said this is what he most wantsto do," said Reich. "At a point when he is being offered everything byeverybody, he is saying, no, this is what I really want to do."