EXCLUSIVE: Kristin Scott Thomas is set to star in Paramour, a story of seduction and extortion, from director Alexandra-Therese Keining (Girls Lost). London-based Protagonist Pictures is launching international sales on the title in Cannes next week, with ICM Partners handling North American rights.

The film is inspired by the true story of the BMW heiress Susanne Klatten, both blessed and cursed by her family’s heritage and wealth. She is a powerful woman who chooses to lead a reclusive existence away from the limelight. When the mysterious and seductive Helg Sgarbi enters her life, they embark upon a passionate, illicit affair – but once she is well and truly hooked, Helg reveals his sinister true intentions.

Jordan Katz pens the script and Meredith Vieira Productions’ Amy Rapp (Tower, Return) developed the project and is producing with Joe Neurauter (The Hallow) from Occupant Entertainment. Vieira serves as an exec producer. Project is a U.S.-German co-production set to shoot in Germany and Italy. It’s currently in pre-production and set to shoot in 2018.

Paramour is a thrilling and provocative story about the dangers and responsibilities that one uber-wealthy woman is forced to confront,” said Protagonist CEO Mike Goodridge. “Inspired by the extraordinary true story of Susanne Klatten and Helg Sgarbi, Jordan Katz’s script intelligently captures the intriguing dilemmas facing these two highly flawed characters. The combination of exciting film-maker Alexandra-Therese Keining and the always compelling star Kristin Scott Thomas make for a heady cocktail which will appeal to adult audiences around the world.”

Scott Thomas is best known for her roles in The English Patient, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Gosford Park. Swedish born writer-director Keining first rose to prominence when her film Kiss Me received the Breakthrough Award at the American Film Institute’s AFI Fest in 2011. Her 2015 follow up Girls Lost premiered in Toronto and she is next slated to direct the upcoming adaptation of popular YA novel Just Like Beauty produced by Zentropa Entertainments.

Thomas is repped by CAA, Agence Adequat and Independent Talent Group. Keining is repped by ICM Partners and The Talent Group. Vieira and Vieira Productions is repped by ICM.