Oscar-winning director Milos Forman is collaborating with Vaclav Havel on a screenplay based on The Ghost of Munich by Georges-Marc Benamou.

The book tells of a journalist who seeks out Edouard Daladier, the aging former French prime minister, in 1968. Daladier represented France at the 1938 Munich conference, at which the UK, France and Italy agreed to Germany's plans to annex large parts of then-Czechoslovakia. The reporter manages to extract from Daladier his story of the conference and the betrayal of a nation.

Benamou's previous book about Francois Mitterrand became the source for Robert Guediguian's 2005 film Le Promeneur du champ de Mars. It screened in competition at Berlin and was nominated for a Cesar for best adaptation.

Havel has written the forward to a Czech translation of Benamou's book, which will be published in Prague next week. A celebrated absurdist playwright, Havel was Czechoslovakia's leading dissident voice until the collapse of communism in 1989, at which point he was elected president. Since retiring from politics in 2003, he has resumed writing. A Czech producer is eyeing his most recent play, Leaving, for big-screen adaptation.