17year-old British star Jamie Bell has landed the plum lead part in ThomasVinterberg's highly anticipated Dear Wendy which is based on a script by Lars Von Trier.

JoiningBell in the cast of the thriller, which starts shooting on Sept 26 inCopenhagen, are US actors Chris Owen, Mark Webber and Michael Angarano as wellas Danso Gordon and Alison Pill from Canada.

TheDKR50m film will be shot on the biggest outdoor set ever built in Denmark aswell as in mines in Nordrehein Westphalen in Germany.

Setin a small mining town in the US mid-west, Dear Wendy is the story of young Dick (Bell) who is drawn to arevolver despite his pacifist views. He names it Wendy and gathers a group ofoutsiders around him with the same pacifist infatuation with guns. According totheir own rules, they must never use the guns unless underground in the mines,but rules, of course, get broken.

Like Von Trier's Dogville, the film promises to be a fable as well as apolitical commentary about violence in today's society.

Bell made his breakthroughas Billy Elliot in the 2000 UKhit and since then has starred in Deathwatch, Doug McGrath's Nicholas Nickleby and the recently completed Undertow directed by David Gordon Green and produced byTerrence Malick and Ed Pressman.

Dear Wendy is produced bySisse Graum Olsen (Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself) in a joint venture between Zentropa and Nimbus Filmcalled Lucky Punch. Birgitte Hald and Peter Aalbaek Jensen act as executiveproducers of the Danish-German-French-UK co-production backed by The DanishFilm Institute, TV2/Denmark, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Nordic Film-& TV Fond, SVT/Sweden, Media, Eurimages, Canal+, Arte France Cinema andZDF. Co-production entities are Bettina Brokemper/Pain Unlimited (Germany), Gillian Barrie/Dear Wendy Ltd (UK) and Marianne Slot/Slot Machine-Liberator 2 (France).

Joining Vinterberg from hislatest effort It's All About Loveis cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle and production designer Jette Lehmann,who created the set design in collaboration with Karl Juliusson. Nordisk Filmhas taken Scandinavian rights and is planning a Nov2004 release. Trust FilmSales is handling international sales.