Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny and Udo Kier have signed on to Werner Herzog and David Lynch's first collaboration, the psychological horror tale My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done.

Keith Kjarval's Los Angeles-based production, finance and sales company Unified Pictures is handling international sales with Lynch's company Absurda.

Herzog is directing the film which will commence principal photography in the California locale of Coronado Island in March. Eric Bassett is producing and Lynch serves as executive producer. Lynch regular Grace Zabriskie also stars.

The story is loosely based on events surrounding a San Diego man who acted out a Sophocles play in his mind and murdered his mother with a sword.

'I always wanted to make a horror film, but not with bloody axes and chain-saws,' Herzog said, adding: 'An anonymous fear should rather creep up at you.'

'This is an exciting and very worthwhile collaboration for Unified Pictures,' Kjarval said. 'Working with David Lynch and Eric Bassett to sell a film of this pedigree is quite special. Having such a talented cast in place with Werner behind the camera gives us confidence that this will turn into something extraordinary.'