Sean Connery, Winona Ryder and Klaus Maria Brandauer are in negotiations to topline helmer Milos Forman’s upcoming adaptation of Sandor Marai’s Hungarian novel “Embers.”
Screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere is adapting the book for producers Robert and Michael Haggiag. Michael Hausman is exec producing.
The Haggiags are putting financing and distribution for the project with CAA, which reps the film.
Production is skedded to begin Oct. 8 in Prague.
First published in 1942 in Budapest, “Embers” is considered a forgotten masterpiece in literary circles. It was released in paperback through Random House’s Vintage Books imprint in September.
Story concerns two old men, once best friends, who meet again after a 41-year break in their relationship.
The friends grew up together in military school; one came from a rich landowning family and subsequently became a colonel (Connery), the other is from a more humble background (Brandauer). The pair are separated after the colonel, as a young man, marries the woman they both secretly love (Ryder).
Book explores the themes of jealousy, love and possession, told through the remembrances of the two friends who ultimately come to terms with what divided them.
Connery, repped by CAA, and Brandauer, repped by Tom Parziale at Visionary Entertainment, previously teamed on “The Russia House” in 1990 and the James Bond pic “Never Say Never Again.”
Connery stars in “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” which 20th Century Fox is releasing Wednesday.
Ryder, who is repped by ICM, most recent starred in “S1m0ne” for New Line Cinema and the Adam Sandler vehicle “Mr. Deeds” for Columbia Pictures.
Brandauer starred recently in Edoardo Ponti’s “Between Strangers”; he also appeared in HBO’s 1999 Emmy-winning pic “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.”
Forman and Carriere first worked together on “Taking Off,” the former’s debut American directorial effort.