According to Variety, Paramount Pictures has made a preemptive acquisition of the Shannon Burke novel Black Flies, and the studio is negotiating with Darren Aronofsky to direct it.

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura will produce with Eric Watson, Aronofsky's partner in Protozoa.

The novel, which has not yet been set with a publisher, revolves around a young man who becomes an emergency medical technician in Harlem, a temporary stop before he enters medical school. There, he experiences a range of crises and stressful misadventures, including a mentor who has been numbed to the point that he makes a wrong decision in a life-and-death situation.

"The book is a good match for Darren because he likes to explore the depths of human emotion, and he is unsparingly honest," di Bonaventura said.

The studio is looking for a scribe to adapt the book under the supervision of Aronofsky, who is in post-production on his passion project, the Hugh Jackman starrer The Fountain.