Tom Tykwer (Heaven, Run Lola Run) may direct the long-anticipated screen adaptation of Patrick Sueskind's internationally bestselling novel Perfume (Das Parfuem) for Germany's Constantin Film.

Constantin's board member Thomas Peter Friedl confirmed to that the director has been working with screenwriter Andrew Birkin (The Concrete Garden) and producer Bernd Eichinger on a screenplay.

However, Friedl stressed that - contrary to German press reports this weekend - no contract had been signed yet for Tykwer to direct.

The rights to Perfume - which had always been considered unfilmable in the past - were secured by Eichinger, a specialist in literary adaptations, for Constantin Film three years ago.

Initially, Ridley Scott's name was attached to the ambitious project as director and, more recently, writer-director Julian Schnabel tried his hand at penning a script for a version to star Johnny Depp, according to the German news weekly Focus.

Perfume is the most successful novel in German since Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front, with global sales of more than 12m copies and translations into about 40 different languages.