Following on from the success of his debut this year, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, director/writer J Blakeson may be facing a fiery challenge on his next feature.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the British filmmaker is in negotiations to direct period drama Hell and Gone for Warner Bros.

Scripted by The Dark Knight’s Jonah Nolan, this is reportedly a tragedy-tinged historical love story in the vein of Titanic, revolving around The Great Chicago Fire which killed hundreds and destroyed over 4 square miles of The Windy City in 1871.

The fire burned for three days through the city and certainly provides plenty of dramatic meat for the right scriptwriter. Given his sensational writing work on Memento, The Prestige and TDK, Nolan would seem to be the man for the job.

Whether comparisons with Titanic are helpful or appropriate we cannot tell at this point. Obviously Titanic itself was a box-office juggernaut, alloying the romantic elements with top-drawer action and FX sequences, but then über-turkey Pearl Harbor was hailed as that year’s Titanic, which although benefiting from top-drawer set pieces, lacked the heart of Titanic. Of course Pearl Harbor went on to achieve good solid box office, but no doubt Nolan and Blakeson will be aiming for critical and commercial success.

Budget-wise, this is a huge step up for the young director, although fellow Brit Rupert Wyatt has been entrusted with next year’s big summer feature, Rise of the Apes, having only made the low-budget prison drama, The Escapist, previously. Nolan seems to have the midas touch at the moment, but what do you think? Are the words “it might be a bit like Titanic” helpful or do they make you uneasy? Please comment below.

Additional reporting by Dave Roper