Saul Dibb attached to direct Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas in WWII romance-drama.

As has been known for some years, Michael Kuhn’s Qwerty Films and TF1 are driving the re-packaged WWII romance-drama Suite Francaise, which is likely to shoot in 2013.

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Alliance Films are new partners on board the project, which was once with Universal, and will most likely retain distribution rights in UK, Spain and Canada, with TF1 handling France and worldwide sales.

The Duchess director Saul Dibb has adapted Irene Nemirovsky’s acclaimed novel and is attached to direct (first announced by Screen in 2010), with Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas attached to star subject to shooting schedules. The production is out to cast on the pivotal role of German officer ‘Bruno’, the lead male character.

Nemirovsky’s tour de force charts the tense love-affair between a young French woman, Lucile (to be played by Williams), and the German officer assigned to supervise her in Nazi-occupied France. Scott Thomas would play Lucile’s domineering mother-in-law.

French writer Nemirovsky, of Ukrainian Jewish origin, had originally intended to write a series of five novels but after completing the first two, was arrested, detained and sent to Auschwitz, where she died.

The notebook containing the two novels was preserved by her daughters but not made public until 1998. They were published in a single volume called Suite française in 2004, soon after which Universal picked up the film rights and attached Ronald Harwood to adapt the story.