Francis Ford Coppola will film Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road with The Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Salles, it has been reported.
The 1957 book tells of Kerouac's travels through the US and Mexico
Coppola's American Zoetrope production company has owned the movie rights to the seminal novel since 1979.
Salles and screenwriter Jose Rivera will cast the film in 2006, according to industry journal Hollywood Reporter.
"We've never quite found the right combination of director and writer to do it justice until now," Coppola said.
Written in a stream of consciousness style, On the Road chronicles its author's travels through the US and Mexico in the post-war years.
When published in 1957, Kerouac was hailed as a major American literary figure and thrust into the limelight as a reluctant spokesman for the Beat Generation.
Salles said: "On the Road is a seminal book that gave voice to a whole generation - capturing its hunger for experience, unwillingness to accept imposed truths and dissatisfaction with the status quo.
Coppola said the novel was "inherently difficult" to adapt
"It is as modern today as it was four decades ago."
Apocalypse Now director Coppola told the Hollywood Reporter the novel was "inherently difficult" to adapt for the screen.
Coppola has been trying to find a way to film On the Road for several years.
In 2002, US author Russell Banks announced Coppola had appointed him as screenwriter and Phantom of the Opera film-maker Joel Schumacher as director.
At that time, Brad Pitt and his Sleepers co-star Billy Crudup were linked to roles in the movie.