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Famous Azerbaijani Novel To Get Hollywood Treatment

Award-winning British playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton

Award-winning British playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton

A major film adaptation of one of the Caucasus's best-known literary works is now in the pipeline.

Producer Kris Thykier, whose previous film credits include "Stardust" and "Kick Ass," has now snaffled the feature rights to Azerbaijani novel "Ali and Nino."

Set in Baku at the start of World War I, Kurban Said's epic love story follows the travails of an Azerbaijani Muslim youth and a Christian Georgian princess during a turbulent period in the Caucasus's history, encompassing the Russian Revolution and Soviet colonization of the region.

Since it was first published in 1937, it has been translated into more than 30 languages, with nearly 100 reprints

​"'Ali and Nino' is one of the great works of the 20th century, as evocative of the exotic landscape as it is of the passion between two people pulled apart by culture, religion and war," Thykier told "Variety" magazine.

Thykier also said he was "thrilled" to have secured the services of British playwright Christopher Hampton to adapt the novel for film.

Hampton is perhaps best known for his award-winning costume drama "Les liaisons dangereuses."

He successfully adapted the play for film under the title "Dangerous Liaisons" and won a screenplay Oscar for his efforts in 1988.

Hampton told the "Hollywood Reporter" that he "fell in love" with "Ali and Nino" from the moment he read the book.

"[It] is is beautifully written and in many ways as relevant and resonant now as it was when it was first published,” he said.

Thykier is slated to produce the film, while Leyla Aliyeva, the powerful daughter of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, will serve as executive producer.

They are now reportedly looking for potential candidates to direct the movie.

-- Central Newsroom

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