Danish filmmaker Bille August has signed up to direct an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s 1932 novel Laughter in the Dark.

The project will see August being reunited with screenwriter Greg Latter who had previously worked with the director on the adaptation of Pascal Mercier’s philosophical novel Night Train To Lisbon, which was in production at locations in Switzerland and Portugal last spring.

Written 32 years before Lolita and set in 1930’s Berlin, Laughter In The Dark centres on a wealthy art dealer, who abandons his wife and child for a temptress who in turn takes him for everything he’s got. It is described by the film’s producer Sandor Söth of Berlin-based Intuit Pictures as “a tragicomic tale of lust, lethal obsession and betrayal, where love is both figuratively and literally blinding.”

Principal photography is planned for the second half of 2013, with Kate Caspar onboard the project as a co-producer with Söth who is currently in the final postproduction on Janos Szasz’s adaptation of Agota Kristof’s The Notebook.

Laughter In The Dark has only been adapted for the screen on one previous occasion - by dramatist-screenwriter Edward Bond in 1969 for Tony Richardson with a cast including Nicol Williamson, Peter Bowles, Anna Karina and Jean-Claude Drouot.