Variety reports that Chris Columbus, via his 1492 Productions, is going to make a big screen adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's best selling novel The Help.

The story follows African-American domestic servants and their relationship to their wealthy, white employers in Mississippi right before the civil rights era.

Tate Taylor has penned the screenplay and will direct this project. The book has been

on the New York Times bestseller list for 35 weeks since Amy Einhorn Books released it last February.

Taylor was actually involved with this property long before it became a literary sensation for Stockett. The two writers grew up together in Mississippi. In fact, an option was placed on the book long before it came out.

Taylor then showed the book to Chris Columbus who he met in San Francisco. Taylor's niece and nephew attended the same school as his children.

1492 is already putting together financing with the hopes getting the movie started this spring in the South.