Poor Boy's Game director Clement Virgo is setting up his next project, the $9m thriller The Collectors, as a Canada-UK co-production.

The screenplay is written by Annmarie Morais, who wrote the Paramount Vantage pickup How She Move.

Virgo and producing partner Damon d'Oliveira of Toronto-based Conquering Lion Pictures will be taking the project to New York's IFP Market. Some private investment is already attached.

Set in the world of crime scene paparazzi in the days following 9/11, the story explores the human cost of a society gripped by fear, obsessed with security and scrutinized by ubiquitous cameras of every form, from CCTV to cellphone.

Conquering Lion is also in late stage development on a biopic of disgraced Canadian Olympian Ben Johnson, who was stripped of his gold medal in the 100m dash after testing positive for steroid use.

Virgo, who grew up not far from Johnson in their native Jamaica, will direct the screenplay co-written with New York-based journalist and author Douglas Century. Marcia Munnell will co-produce.