Wherefore art thou, 'Juliet'? It's at Uni

James Mangold, Cathy Konrad to produce film

Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to "Juliet," a novel by Danish author Anne Fortier, for James Mangold and Cathy Konrad to produce through their Tree Line Film banner. Mangold is also attached to direct the adaptation.

The tome, to be published in 2010, was one of the talks of September's Frankfurt book fair, where Ballantine pre-emptively plunked down seven figures for U.S. rights to the English-language debut of Fortier. The book now has up to 21 deals, many of which have garnered serious advance money, including six-figure agreements in Germany, Spain and the U.K.

The story, which takes a cue from "Romeo and Juliet," toggles from medieval Siena to the present day in a story about a woman who discovers she may be descended from the people who inspired one of the most popular and tragic love stories of all time.

No writer is on board to adapt.

Kristen Lowe will oversee the project for Universal.

Husband-and-wife team Mangold and Konrad last worked on 2007's "3:10 to Yuma." Tree Line is developing the time-travel thriller "The Archive," also at Universal.

Mangold and Konrad are repped by CAA and Management 360. Fortier is repped by CAA and Writers House.