Director Susanne Bier willdirect period love story The Duchessfor Qwerty Films and MagnoliaMae Films.

The project will shoot onlocation in the UK in early 2007 after Bier completes work on her current project, Dreamworks' Things WeLost InThe Fire, starring Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro.

The Duchess is based onAmanda Foreman's novel Georgiana, DuchessOf Devonshire, about a beautiful woman in an unhappy marriage whofalls in love with a young politician.

Michael Kuhn of Qwerty is producing with Gabrielle Tanaand Carolyn Marks Blackwood of MagnoliaMae.

The adapted script waswritten by Jeffrey Hatcher, who worked on StageBeauty and Casanova. Bier and herwriting partner Anders Thomas Jensen are working on a new draft together.

Tana said: 'We are all so happy to have Susanne onboard for this project. She istaking something historical and making it timeless - redefining what we think will be aclassic.'

Bier's last film, After The Wedding,played at the Toronto International Film Festival and has been longlisted for the European Film Awards.