According to Variety, Bernardo Bertolucci is returning to the director's chair to helm Bel Canto, a terrorism-themed tale set in an imaginary country in South America, based on U.S. writer Ann Patchett's eponymous novel.

Jeremy Thomas is developing the project with New York-based producer Caroline Baron (Capote), who brought Thomas rights to the Pen/Faulkner award-winning book.

Casting is still undetermined for Canto, which has not been offered to distributors.

Thomas said Italy's Medusa -- which has released Bertolucci's recent titles locally -- is as yet not on board.

Bertolucci is penning the script for Canto.

In the book, a guerilla group enters a South American politician's villa via the airducts during a party while a famous soprano is singing, and take everyone hostage