India’s Eros International has signed a co-production deal with Chennai-based production house Photon Kathaas Productions for the Tamil-language action thriller John: Chapter 1 (Yohan: Adhyayam Ondru).

Produced in association with UK-based Future Film Production, the film will be directed by Photon Kathaas co-founder Gautham Vasudev Menon, with music by A R Rahman, and south Indian star Vijay heading the cast. Production is expected to start in the second quarter of next year.

The film is being developed as the first in a franchise featuring the same character and will be shot in international locations, predominantly in the UK, with the support of the UK government.

Menon is one of south India’s leading filmmakers with credits such as Tamil hits Vettaiyadu Vellaiyadi (2006), Pachaikili Muthucharam (2007) and Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010), the latter of which Fox Star Studios recently remade in Hindi. Photon Kathaas is listed on the AIM market in the UK.