Variety reports that HBO Films has picked up the novel "Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis, The First Battle in America's War With Militant Islam," by Mark Bowden (he wrote the book Black Hawk Down).

Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center) will be adapting this book.

The property chronicles how 66 Americans were taken hostage on Nov. 4, 1979. Many were not freed until January 1981. The event started as an expression of student outrage over the U.S. decision that allowed the ousted shah of Iran for medical treatment. It then spawned the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini and his hardline Islamic supporters.

There was a rescue attempt that ended disastrously, and the crisis hung over the Carter administration. It also bolstered the rise of the conservative Republican Ronald Reagan. He defeated Carter in the election, then "promptly unfroze $8 billion in Iranian assets and took the bows when the hostages were freed."

Evan Jacobs