The producer, whose credits include Flight Of The Navigator and In Love And War, has optioned the 1972 novel from the Frank Herbert estate.

The story charts the abuse of Native Americans and an activist’s attempt to even the score by kidnapping the son of a Washington politician.

“The book is an extraordinary example of Frank Herbert’s brilliant writing and it is something I’ve always wanted to turn into a film,” said Villard (pictured). “I remember the rights being unavailable when I first pursued the Soul Catcher project in the 80s, but as my producing career developed I never forgot the powerful effect the story had on me.

“Now, with full support from the Frank Herbert Estate, we have the opportunity to make a culturally impactful film that combines elements of suspense, high drama, mysticism and Native American history that will resonate for years to come and appeal to the millions of Frank Herbert fans worldwide.”

“Our family is tremendously excited at the possibilities of a Soul Catcher film project,” said Brian Herbert, son and biographer of Frank Herbert. “The novel has been pursued by other filmmakers in the past; and now, with the passion and persistence of Dimitri and his team, we’re confident my father’s only, and perhaps most important, non-science fiction book will finally make it to the big screen.”