EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment has secured North American distribution rights to the Daniel Zelik Berk-directed film, Damascus Cover, a spy thriller starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Olivia Thirlby, Jurgen Prochnow, Navid Negahban, Igal Naor, Aki Avni, and the late John Hurt. The film is slated for a theatrical bow in 2018.

Shot in Morocco, Israel, and Germany, the pic is about a veteran spy who is sent undercover to smuggle a chemical weapons scientist out of Damascus.

Berk and Samantha Newton co-wrote the screenplay based on the best-selling novel The Damascus Cover by Howard Kaplan. Producers on the project are Hannah Leader, Huw Penallt Jones, Jomon Thomas and Masaaki Tanaka.

The Exchange is repping international sales at the AFM confab in Santa Monica.

The deal was handled by Rich Goldberg and Peter Jarowey at Vertical with CAA repping the production.