Nicolas Cage is being lined up to star in Lords Of War, an international gunrunning thriller which overseas sales agent Arclight Films is handling.

Directing the international co-production is Andrew Niccol, whose directing credits include S1mOne and Gattaca, and who was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay for The Truman Show. Shooting is expected to start early next year in South Africa.

The picture is being bankrolled through the second UK tax fund from Movision, which provides productions with 25% of the budget on top of a sale and leaseback deal worth 15%. The first Movision fund, which raised £17m, invested in titles including Senator International's The Bridge Of San Luis Rey, with Robert De Niro, and Arclight's Head In The Clouds, with Penelope Cruz and Charlize Theron.

Lords Of War is part of a starry slate at Arclight, which is a regular Movision partner as UK production outfit. Movision co-founder Spice Factory has a minority stake in Arclight.

Based in Sydney and LA, Arclight this week boarded ensemble crime drama Crash, featuring Heath Ledger, Brendan Fraser and Eva Mendes.

Also on its slate are The Matador, with Pierce Brosnan, and Coming Out, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones. A growing line-up of Asian films includes Silver Hawk, starring Michelle Yeoh, and New Police Story (working title), with Jackie Chan. Movision titles include The Merchant Of Venice, with Al Pacino.

Movision is half way to raising its target of £50m for its second fund. The fund recently appointed Joshua Andrews, Odyssey Entertainment's former head of production, to act as a consultant as it tries to assemble a $250m slate.

For full profile on Spice Factory and Movision, see this week's Screen International