The director of Frank and What Richard Did to adapt Laird Hunt’s novel about a woman who joins the American Civil War.

Dublin-based production company Element Pictures has acquired film and TV rights to Laird Hunt novel Neverhomewith long-time Element collaborator Lenny Abrahamson set to direct and Ed Guiney producing.

The novel, published in the US earlier this month, tells the story of Ash Thompson who leaves her husband to don the uniform of a Union soldier in the American Civil War and goes on to become a hero, a folk legend, a madwoman and a traitor to the American cause.

Abrahamson, the director of Frank and What Richard Did, said: “Laird has written a truly amazing novel and created in Ash a character so vivid and original. I could not be more excited about making this film.”

Element Pictures producer Guiney previously worked with Abrahamson on Frank and What Richard Did as well as on John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard. He added: “We are so excited to be involved with Hunt’s beguiling novel and look forward to taking it to the big screen.”

Novelist Hunt said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled or honored that Neverhome is in the hands of Lenny Abrahamson and Ed Guiney whose work I so emphatically admire.”

Neverhome will be published by Chatto in the UK in early 2015.

Abrahamson is currently in pre-production in Canada, working on Roombased on the bestselling novel and screenplay by Emma Donoghue and also produced by Guiney for Element.

The deal was brokered by Lesley Thorne, Aitken Alexander Associates Ltd, on behalf of Anna Stein, AAA LLC New York and by Ed Guiney and Mark Byrne for Element.​

Upcoming Element productions include Yorgos Lanthimos’ first English language film, The Lobster, starring Rachel Weisz, Colin Farrell, and John C. Reilly, andGlassland, Gerard Barrett’s follow-up feature to Pilgrim Hill, starring Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, and Toni Collette.

As well as Room, other Element films due to shoot in the coming months are A Date for Mad Mary, directed by Darren Thornton; and 11 Minutes, by Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski.​