Director teams with co. on Paul Coelho adaptation

Hollywood Gang Prods. has set Hany Abu-Assad to direct “Eleven Minutes,” an adaptation of the steamy bestselling novel by Paulo Coelho.

Abu-Assad will rewrite a script by Marcos Bernstein.

Gianni Nunnari will produce. Craig J. Flores and George Waud will be exec producers.

Coelho’s novel revolves around Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village who is swept off to Geneva in an affair with a Swiss businessman. The book’s title refers to the average duration of a sexual encounter, and much of Maria’s discoveries occur between the sheets.

The book has been translated into 40 languages and sold 8 million copies worldwide.

Abu-Assad made his breakthrough with 2005′s “Paradise Now.” The filmmaker also directed “Nazareth,” and is developing the Focus Features film “Vanished” with Nicolas Cage attached to star.

Nunnari’s Hollywood Gang is in production on the Martin Scorsese-directed “Shutter Island” at Paramount, and “Everybody’s Fine,” the Kirk Jones-directed Miramax comedy.

Hollywood Gang, which moved to the Warner Bros. lot after “300,” is developing several projects at the studio, including a Rupert Sanders-directed remake of “The Wild Geese, and a Sylvain White-directed adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel “Ronin.”

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