Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is set to make the Hollywood adaptation of Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi.
Jeunet's Amelie and A Very Long Engagement won Oscar nominations
The Oscar-nominated director, who also made A Very Long Engagement, will begin production on the movie next summer.
Yann Martel's book tells of a teenage boy sharing a lifeboat with a hyena, an injured zebra and a hungry tiger.
Sixth Sense director M Night Shyamalan and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban's Alfonso Cuaron previously planned to direct the film.
'Passionate about project'
Jeunet, 53, who also made 1991's Delicatessen and 1997's Alien: Resurrection, is also co-writing the Life of Pi screenplay.
M Night Shyamalan was originally set to direct the movie but pulled out to make self-penned thriller Lady in the Water.
Elizabeth Gabler, president of film studio Fox 2000, told industry journal Variety that the studio bought the rights to the book three years ago.
"So many film-makers were passionate about it, but we felt a responsibility to the material and Yann Martel to wait for the right one at the right time," she said.
The surreal Life of Pi beat five nominees including Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry to win the prestigious Booker Prize in 2002.
At the time Canadian author Martel said: "Of the six fine books on the shortlist, mine was the luckiest."