Not content to rest on his political laurels, The Road to Guantánamo director Michael Winterbottom has picked up the rights to Craig Murray's (the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan) memoirs, Murder In Samarkand. Though it won't be published until June, Murray's work already has the British government up in arms - in fact, the Foreign Office is threatening to sue him for "breach of confidence or of Crown copyright," if and when the book comes out.

According to Winterbottom, Murray, who was fired in 2004 "after drawing attention to torture and human rights abuses in Uzbekistan," has written his story with a surprisingly light touch. Said the director, "The book is fantastic...[like] a very funny version of a Graham Greene novel." How Murray makes extraordinary rendition and torture funny remains to be seen, but it's not hard to understand why someone of Winterbottom's sensibilities (don't forget, this is the man who made A Cock and Bull Story) was drawn to the story.

Cock and Bull star Steve Coogan is reportedly already in line to play Murray, but Winterbottom admits that it could take a year just to get the film "set up."