Helmer also penning script; cast not yet determined

Bernardo Bertolucci is returning to the director’s chair to helm “Bel Canto,” a terrorism-themed tale set in an imaginary country in South America, based on U.S. writer Ann Patchett’s eponymous novel.

Jeremy Thomas is developing the project with New York-based producer Caroline Baron (“Capote”), who brought Thomas rights to the Pen/Faulkner award-winning book.

Casting is still undetermined for “Canto,” which has not been offered to distributors.

Thomas said Italy’s Medusa — which has released Bertolucci’s recent titles locally — is as yet not on board.

Bertolucci is penning the script for “Canto.”

In the book, a guerilla group enters a South American politician’s villa via the airducts during a party while a famous soprano is singing, and take everyone hostage.

(Adam Dawtrey contributed to this report.)

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