French producers Pierre Kubel and Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar have purchased the rights to Laurence Cosse's award-winning novel The 31st of August 1997 (Le 31 Aout 1997) which they will adapt for the big screen in the coming year.

The titular date was the day that Princess Diana died in a car accident in central Paris.

Cosse's book is a fictionalised account of the owner of the mysterious Fiat Uno which is reported to have bumped into the doomed Mercedes as it headed towards the Alma tunnel.

Although neither the Fiat nor its owner were ever found, Cosse's imagining paints the driver as a woman in her 30s who, upon learning the next day that it was Diana's car she skimmed, goes through a series of trials from guilt to paranoia to eventually re-assessing her life and the people in it before ultimately finding herself.

Mention-Schaar told, "It's a film that has a real subject - how your life can be totally changed because of an event that really has nothing to do with you. It's a wonderful role for an actress, a role of transformation."

Kubel and Menton-Schaar - who last produced 2003's Monsieur N - will produce under their Loma Nasha banner and are looking at a 2005 shoot. Actress/director/writer Laetitia Colombani is currently working on the script which should be ready this autumn.