Film producer John Maynard, who has just been presented with an honorary degree from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, is working with UK producer David Kelly on the financing of an adaptation of Randolph Stow's novel The Merry-Go-Round In The Sea.

The co-production has been scripted by Peter Kuch and Cal Durrant and will be directed by Ray Argall (Return Home, Eight Ball).

Maynard says the book has sold 200,000 copies and never been out of print. Maynard is also producing Three Dollars, which also uses an Australian novel as its source material.

It is likely to be the second directorial outing after The Bank from his partner in production company Arenafilm, Robert Connolly, who has written the script with the author, Elliot Perlman.

Three Dollars was honoured as the book of the year in 1998 by The Age newspaper. Maynard's honorary degree was for his commitment, as a creative producer, to ground-breaking independent cinema, for nurturing new Australian talent and reflecting diverse themes of social and cultural relevance.