Academy Award-winning director Marleen Gorris is to direct Bronte, the story of the Bronte sisters.

The Dutch director, who won the best foreign-language Oscar for Antonia's Line, is to go into pre-production in May for Random Harvest, the UK producer and tax-based financier which acquired the screenplay from DreamWorks SKG.

Angela Workman, who teamed with Random Harvest on Anna Friel picture The War Bride, wrote the story of Charlotte, Emily and Anne and how they became overnight literary sensations with Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. Writing under pen names, they kept readers, critics and even their publishers guessing about their identity and gender.

Random Harvest's joint Managing Director, Alistair MacLean-Clark, and Basil Stephens will produce, with Tim Smith, Melvyn Singer and Kim Ballard executive producing.

'Bronte is a bold, visually dynamic portrait of a young artist, who struggles to rise above her station in life and hardship of mid-19th century Yorkshire so that she may follow her ambition to be a writer,' said MacLean-Clark. 'This is a story about the indomitable human spirit, the passion to create, and the desire to be loved'

Gorris previously directed Carolina, starring Julia Stiles. She recently made The Luzhin Defense with Emily Watson for Renaissance Films.