New York-based Smuggler Films has signed famed UK screenwriter Hanif Kureishi to adapt Man Booker Prize-winning novel The White Tiger for the big screen.

No director is attached yet.

Smuggler’s Patrick Milling Smith and John N. Hart will produce the film alongside Jolyon Symonds for Ascension Entertainment.

Aravind Adiga’s darkly comic 2008 novel is about a chauffeur in India who blames society for his racist and violent tendencies.

Kureishi comments, “The White Tiger is a rag to riches murder story. It is Aravind’s extraordinary characters that make this one stand out above all others.”

Smuggler will finance the project with a new media fund it has assembled, with support from the UK Film Council Development Fund.

The producers added in a statement: “We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Hanif, who knows the world that is The White Tiger. His compassion and insight for characters struggling for freedom make him a perfect match.”

Smuggler’s Hart was a founding partner of Hart Sharp Entertainment; his credits include Boys Don’t Cry, You Can Count On Me and Revolutionary Road.

Smuggler’s upcoming projects include Pete Travis’ contemporary retelling of Macbeth; a Broadway musical of Once; Hungary-set psychological thriller Element; and Princess Margaret scandal story The Princess And The Gangster.

Kureishi, the famed author, playwright and screenwriter was Oscar nominated for 1985’s My Beautiful Launderette. He has also written screenplays for The Mother, Venus and The Buddha of Suburbia for director Roger Michell.

Kureishi’s play The Black Album is currently showing at London’s National Theatre. He recently served on the competition jury at Cannes 2009.