Barry Levinson is negotiating to direct Boone's Lick, an adaptation of Larry McMurtry's 19th century American West novel, according to Production Weekly.
The film is written by the author and Diana Ossana. Tom Hanks and Julianne Moore are attached to play the leads.
McMurtry and Ossana received an Oscar for their adaptation of Annie L. Proulx's novella Brokeback Mountain.
Told with McMurtry's unique blend of historical fact and sheer storytelling genius, the novel follows the Cecil family's arduous journey by riverboat and wagon from Boone's Lick, Missouri, to Fort Phil Kearny in Wyoming. Fifteen-year-old Shay narrates, describing the journey that begins when his Ma, Mary Margaret, decides to hunt down her elusive husband, Dick, to tell him she's leaving him. Without knowing precisely where he is, they set out across the plains in search of him, encountering grizzly bears, stormy weather, and hostile Indians as they go. With them are Shay's siblings, G.T., Neva, and baby Marcy; Shay's uncle, Seth; his Granpa Crackenthorpe; and Mary Margaret's beautiful half-sister, Rose. During their journey they pick up a barefooted priest named Father Villy, and a Snake Indian named Charlie Seven Days, and persuade them to join in their travels.
Location scouting has begun in Wyoming, with production scheduled to begin late summer.