EXCLUSIVE: Up in the Air star Vera Farmiga is set to star with Mark Strong in Closer to the Moon, a period drama set in communist Romania. Nae Caranfil is directing, and production begins early fall in Bucharest. Strong plays Max Rosenthal, a former head of a criminal investigation unit for the Bucharest police force who is implicated in a bank robbery in which he and three others perpetrated the crime while assuring the crowds they were filming a movie. They are tried and sentenced to death because they are Jews, but only after the communist government forces them to re-enact their crime in a propaganda film. Farmiga plays Max’s former lover and mother of his child, who returns from studying in Moscow as the drama unfolds. Michael Fitzgerald is producing. Farmiga’s directorial debut, Higher Ground, will be released by Sony Pictures Classics in late August. She most recently starred in Source Code and Henry’s Crime, and she recently wrapped Safe House opposite Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds for Universal. She’s repped by CAA and Jon Rubinstein.