Universal has won out a keenly fought bidding war and acquiredfeature rights to Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller Blink: The Power OfThinking Without Thinking.

The studio paid $1m forthe rights and has paid a further $2m for Stephen Gaghan to write and directthe adaptation that has Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star.

Gaghan will also produce with Appian Way's DiCaprio and BradSimpson, and Gladwell will serve as executive producer.

Universal top brass also announced they have signed a two-yearfirst-look deal with Gaghan, the Oscar winning screenwriter of Traffic and writer and director of the politicalthriller Syriana,which is due to be released through Warner Bros next month.

Blinkfocuses on the split-second decision-making that propels our impulses and actsas an important factor in our lives.

Universal's president of production Pictures' DonnaLangley and executive vice president Peter Cramer will oversee the project andthe Gaghan deal for the studio.

Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazinesince 1996. His 1999 profile of Ron Popeil won a National Magazine Award, andin 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People.

He is the author of two books, The Tipping Point: How LittleThings Make A Big Difference (2000), and Blink (2005), both of which were number one New York Times bestsellers.

Gaghan is represented by WMA. Gladwell is representedby CAA in conjunction with his literary agent Tina Bennett at Janklow &Nesbit Associates. DiCaprio and Appian Way are represented by The Firm.