According to Variety, Francis Ford Coppola will return to directing after an eight-year hiatus with a self-financed, low-budget pic to lense in Bucharest.

The bigscreen adaptation of "Youth Without Youth" is based on the novella by Romanian author and intellectual Mircea Eliade. Coppola penned the screenplay and is producing through his American Zoetrope banner. Fred Roos and Anahid Nazarian exec produce.

Tim Roth, Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz and Marcel Iures will star in the pic, skedded to begin production October 3.

The story centers on a professor whose life changes after a cataclysmic incident during the dark years before WWII. Becoming a fugitive, he is pursued through far-flung locations including Romania, Switzerland, Malta and India.

"I was excited to discover, in this tale by Eliade, the key themes that I most hope to understand better: time, consciousness and the dreamlike basis of reality," Coppola said in a statement. "For me, it is indeed a return to the ambitions I had for work in cinema as a student."

Zoetrope called the pic "a return to personal filmmaking" for the helmer.

"Youth" marks Coppola's first directing project since 1997's The Rainmaker. The Godfather helmer -- who has concentrated in recent years on his careers as a producer, hotelier and wine impresario -- had publicly groused that Hollywood has mostly been offering him gangster pictures, which he was not interested in shooting.

Instead, the auteur headed to Romania in early June to pen the ambitious "Youth" adaptation under a shroud of secrecy and to scout locations for the indie project around Bucharest.

Coppola initially spent time in Romania back in February, and -- according to a Romanian news report at the time -- said during a public address at a university, "I have come here to rediscover myself as an artist."