Paul Verhoeven, whose last film Black Book was one of his most acclaimed in years, has become attached to another World War II story The Forgotten Soldier based on the memoir by Guy Sajer.

The story follows Sajer's harrowing experiences as a teenager as a French recruit in the German army on the eastern front during the war.

Michael Frost Beckner, whose writing credits include Spy Game, has written the screenplay for the project and will produce alongside his brother John Beckner and Verhoeven. The producers plan to shoot in 2009 on location in eastern Europe.

Financing and worldwide distribution is being arranged by LA-based executive producer Thomas Augsberger of Eden Rock Media.

The novel is a French classic and was recently cited as one of prime minister Nicholas Sarkozy's favourite books. Sajer, who is still alive, has never optioned the rights to the book despite strong interest, but is said to have been won over by Verhoeven.

Verhoeven has been attached to several other projects since Black Book including The Thomas Crown Affair 2 for MGM, a film of Pete Dexter's novel The Paperboy which Jan De Bont is to produce, Tsarist crime romp The Winter Queen aka Azazel which has Milla Jovovich attached to star and a Dutch-language adaptation of Jan Siebelink's biography Kneeling On A Bed Of Violets.

Michael Frost Beckner is represented by Endeavor. Manager Marion Rosenberg represents Verhoeven.