New Line has optioned the rights to Anthony Capella's forthcoming novel Chemistry For Beginners, in what is described as a 'high five-figure deal.'

The book is described as a zany romantic comedy in a much different vein than Capella's usual work.

Ileen Maisel, senior VP of European production, brought the project to New Line. AP Watt agent Rob Kraitt negotiated for the author. New Line also worked with AP Watt for Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass.

New Line stepped in for the option to Chemistry For Beginners quite early, as Capella hasn't even negotiated for a publishing deal yet.

The story follows Stephen Fisher, a shy biochemist who tries to develop a female equivalent of Viagra, and despite his lack of luck with women finds himself the object of attraction from a research subject as well as a co-researcher who may have other motives for her flirtation.

Oxford-based Capella has another novel, The Various Flavours Of Coffee, which Little Brown will publish in the UK in spring 2008, with Bantam handling the US.

His first novel The Food Of Love sold to Warner Bros in a six-figure deal and Robert Jones' New Line partner Material Entertainment (Run, Fat Boy, Run) has the film rights to Capella's 2006 novel The Wedding Officer.