Frozen River writer-director Courtney Hunt will write and direct the drama Northline, based on Willy Vlautin's novel, for Jeffrey Sharp's Sharp Independent at HarperCollins.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project centers on a woman who flees Las Vegas and a troubled life with her boyfriend for a new start in Reno, Nev. She also begins to seek comfort via imaginary conversations with Paul Newman.

Hunt, who won a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January for her working-class drama Frozen River, said the film also will mine drama from the lives of the working poor.

"There are certainly ways to tell stories about upper-class people," she said. "But I think when you add a level of economic challenges, you see things you don't normally see."

No production date has been set.

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