Marta Meszaros, one of Hungary's best known female directors, is developing a biopic of Polish-born French scientist Marie Curie, to be produced by Polish production outfit Akson Studio.

The project follows Curie's final years when, made ill by her own discovery, radium, she returns to her homeland to say goodbye to family and her first love.

Akson's Michal Kwiecinski is producing the film. The script is being written by Meszaros and writer Slawomir Zagorski from his book based on an interview with Curie's daughter and a French documentary novel. Meszaros has offered the title role to Julie Christie and hopes to attract UK and French backing to the project.

Meanwhile Meszaros is developing two further projects - The Miraculous Mandarin, set to star modern dance pioneer Yvette Bozsik and Chinese actor Zhang Yu Sun, and a biopic of Ilonka Toth, a nurse sentenced to death following the Hungarian revolution of 1956.

Mandarin, based on Hungarian composer Bela Bartok's ballet, is being backed by Hungary's National Radio and Television Board and the Chinese culture ministry's co-production department. Ildiko Korodi of Mandarin Film is producing with German producer Manfred Durnok acting as co-producer. Shooting will take place in Hungary and China from July.