English-language project to be penned by writer-director Sergei Bodrov [pictured].

Germany’s Bavaria Film Partners signed an agreement in Cannes on Sunday (May 20) with Russia’s Trikita Entertainment and Italy’s Lumiq Studios for a new adaptation of Alexander Belyaev’s internationally known sci-fi novel Amphibian Man.

The script for the $8m English-language project will be penned by writer-director Sergei Bodrov and is set to begin shooting in Germany and Italy and on Malta using the latest underwater filming technology from the end of 2012. A director and cast are yet to be announced.

“Our film will combine adventures at sea, romance, science fiction, and tragedy. This is the eternal Romeo and Juliet story – except this time it is based on a novel by Alexander Belyaev, Russia’s best-known science fiction author, or as he is known in the West, the Russian answer to Jules Verne”, said executive producer Yury Krestinsky of Trikita.

As a part of the promotional campaign for the project, it is planned to create Amphibian Man comics to be published before the release of the film. A 1962 version of Amphibian Man, directed by Vladimir Chebotaryov and Gennadi Kazansky, set box-office records in the Soviet Union with 65.5m tickets sold.