The love story, first published in 1937 and set in Azerbaijan in 1914, follows Ali, a Muslim with his ancestors’ passion for the desert, and Nino, a Christian Georgian girl with sophisticated European ways.
The two, who have loved each other since childhood, face a variety of obstacles preventing them from being together, including their religions and the fact that WWI is breaking out.
As the political-military situation intensifies in Russia and Turkey, the two become swept up in Azerbaijan’s fight for independence.
Thykier will produce the pic while Leyla Aliyeva will exec produce. They are looking for a director.
“We are thrilled to have attracted one of the world’s finest writers to bring this captivating novel to the screen,” said Thykier. ” ‘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 recently produced Madonna’s “W.E.,” which unspools in Blighty on Jan. 20. His credits include “Stardust,” “Kick-Ass,” “The Debt” and “Harry Brown.”