John Madden, director of the Academy Award-winning Shakespeare In Love, has boarded Working Title Films' Captain Corelli's Mandolin, arguably the most keenly anticipated British film this year.

Working Title also confirmed that Miramax Films, which has two pictures left in a three picture deal with Madden following Shakespeare, will take 'some distribution outside America through Buena Vista International.' Working Title is backed by Universal Pictures and Canal Plus.

Madden, who is to make Corelli his next film after Shakespeare, replaces Notting Hill director Roger Michell, who withdrew from the adaptation of Louis de Bernieres' best-selling novel after illness.

The project, which has Nicolas Cage attached, is to shoot in Corfu in late spring. Kevin Loader and Working Title co-chairmen Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce. Set on a Greek island during WW2, the love story revolves around the affair between an Italian captain and a local doctor's daughter.