Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Max Beesley head the cast of The Emperor's Wife, an adult fairy tale directed by Julien Vrebos, which goes into production on Friday Nov 1.

The cast also includes Spanish actresses Rosana Pastor, recently seen in Land And Freedom, and Leticia Dolera of The Other Side Of The Bed.

The Emperor's Wife will shoot entirely in Luxembourg, on location and at the Delux studios. The Euros 5m picture is a Dutch-UK-Luxembourg co-production involving Fu Works and Staccato Films of The Netherlands, the UK's Spice Factory and Luxembourg's Delux Productions. It is produced by San Fu Maltha and Emjay Rechsteiner.

Finance came through Structurion, a limited liability Dutch investment partnership, the Dutch, Flemish and COBO film funds and broadcaster AVRO. It also took advantage of Luxembourg's tax credit scheme and the UK's sale and leaseback system. Distribution in The Netherlands will be through A-Film and by Cineart in Belgium.

Robbie Little of Overseas Filmgroup, which is handling international sales rights, said: "It is a film that combines the erotic strength of Hamam and the subtle, but hard-hitting struggle for power seen in Raise The Red Lantern."

The film is the second feature for Vrebos, who won three Joseph Plateau awards for his first outing Le Bal Masque in 1999. The Emperor's Wife involves a young girl from the provinces who is trained to be empress, in case the emperor's wife cannot give birth to a child within the year.