ConstantinFilm subsidiary Rat Pack Filmproduktion has secured the film rights to thefamily bestseller Jim Button And Luke TheEngine Driver for an English language adaptation aimed at the internationalmarket.

ProducerChristian Becker has "regular" collaborator Sebastian Niemann(Hui Buh Das Schlossgespenst, Das Jesus Video) attached as director for thelive-action feature film version of TheNeverending Story author Michael Ende's cult children's classic. Thescreenplay will be written by Niemann and Hui Buh screenwriter Dirk Ahner.

Ende's book onthe adventures of Jim Button (JimKnopf in German) in Lummerland and Kummerland was published in 1960 and spawneda radio series and television puppet series with the Augsburger Puppenkiste.The books were also translated and distributed in 30 countries worldwide.

Until now, theproduction of German family entertainment films such as The Wild Soccer Bunch, TheWild Chicks or The Robber Hotzenplotzhad been initially geared at the domestic market and shot in German, althoughthey have also proven popular with foreign buyers as seen at the recentEuropean Film Market in Berlin. JimButton, though, is being structured right from the outset as a project forthe international market.