John Landis will direct black comedy Burke And Hare for Ealing Studios and Fragile Films.

Based on a true story, Burke And Hare is about two 19th century graverobbers who find a lucrative business providing cadavers for an Edinburgh medical school.

Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft, who previously wrote Ealing hit St Trinian's, wrote the script.

Ealing/Fragile's Barnaby Thompson will produce and James Spring will executive produce.

Casting is underway now for a shoot in spring 2009 in Edinburgh, London and at Ealing Studios.

Barnaby Thompson said: 'We are thrilled that John Landis is coming to Ealing Studios to make a film. Nobody has a track record like him. Burke And Hare is a black comedy in the tradition of such Ealing classics as The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts And Coronets, and I think John's sensibility will be perfect for the material.'

Landis, famed for films such as Trading Places, An American Werewolf In London and The Blues Brothers, most recently directed the Emmy-winning documentary Mr Warmth: The Don Rickles Project.

Landis added: 'I am thrilled to be making a picture for Ealing. Burke And Hare have inspired a number of movies over the years, but Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft have written a unique and terrific screenplay which offers me a tremendous chance to make an historically accurate, very black, romantic comedy!'

Brenner said: 'At a time when independent films are struggling to flourish in a particularly tough climate I'm really thrilled to have such an exciting, commercially appealing project.'

Ealing has a particularly active slate currently including Stephan Elliott's Easy Virtue starring Jessica Biel, Richard Eyre's The Other Man starring Antonio Banderas, Oliver Parker's Dorian Gray (now in post) starring Ben Barnes, and Julian Fellowes' From Time To Time (now shooting) starring Maggie Smith.