Warner Bros. Pictures Germany will distribute writer-director Heinrich Breloer's feature film debut Buddenbrooks - Ein Geschaeft Von Einiger Groesse which begins shooting from Aug 1.

The adaptation of Thomas Mann's novel Buddenbrooks about the life and decline of a 19th-century mercantile family is being produced by Bavaria Film and Colonia Media with the Munich-based private financier FilmInterest, with backing from the German Federal Film Board, MEDIA, Filmstiftung NRW, and FFF Bayern.

Shooting on the $20m (Euros 15m) production - which will also include a two-part TV version - will last until the end of November at locations in Cologne, Luebeck, Augsburg, Munich and Bruges, with studio interiors at Cologne's MMC Studios.

Buddenbrooks ' cast is being headlined by the veteran actor Armin Mueller-Stahl, who had played the author Thomas Mann in Breloer's chronicle Die Manns and will now be the pater familias Johann Buddenbrook, while other parts are taken by August Diehl, Iris Berben, Jessica Schwarz, Martin Feifel, Andre Hennicke, and film newcomer Mark Waschke.

Breloer has worked for four decades in award-winning projects for German public television.