James McAvoy has attached himself to star in director Wim Wenders’ film Submergence. Based on the book by J.M. Ledgard, it’s a romantic thriller about two lovers “immersed in life-or-death situations and separated by thousands of miles, who find solace in the memories of their intense romance the previous Christmas after a chance encounter on an Atlantic coast beach.” It follows James Moore, who has survived captivity by jihadist fighters in Somalia, and his love Danielle Flinders, who is exploring the depths of the ocean. The book will be adapted by Erin Dignam.

The book was ranked second in New York magazine’s The Best Ten Books of 2013 and also named to the New York Times‘ list of 100 Notable Books of 2013.

The film will be produced by Cameron Lamb through Lila 9th Productions, while Paris-based Backup Media will finance. They are eyeing a late-March production start and plan to shoot in Europe and Africa. UTA Independent Film Group packaged the film and will be representing the U.S. sale.

McAvoy, of course, next stars as Victor Von Frankenstein in Fox’s Victor Frankenstein and recently wrapped production on the studio’s X-Men: Apocalypse. He is filming M. Night Shyamalan’s Split and then will segue to the spy thriller The Coldest City opposite Charlize Theron.

Wenders (Wings Of Desire, Buena Vista Social Club) is just wrapping production on The Beautiful Days Of Aranjuez.

McAvoy is repped by UTA, United Agents and Sloane, Offer. Wenders is repped by WME.