Playwright and former Czech president Vaclav Havel says his new play is likely to become a feature film.

(Leaving) Ochazeniwas published in book form in November and will see its stage premiere in May or June 2008.

It is the first play in 18 years from Havel, a former dissident who led his country's non-violent revolution in 1989 and emerged as president.

Havel told Czech daily Lidove noviny that cinematographer Jaroslav Brabec initiated the idea and asked Havel to help him with the screenplay. Brabec would shoot the film next year.

Press reports that the film will be produced by Olga Kelymanova, the wife of director Jiri Menzel. Oscar-winning costume designer Theodor Pistek (Amadeus) is also reportedly interested in the project, as are a number of other celebrated Czech artists who are close to Havel.

The play tells the story of a high-ranking government as he prepares to leave office. Havel himself left the office of president in 2003, but says he wrote the play in the 1980s for his first wife, Dagmar, and that it is not autobiographical.

Havel is also the subject of a feature-length documentary, Citizen Havel, which examines the former president's life in and out of office. Distributor Aerofilms plans a Jan 31 world premiere in Prague.