Gary Oldman, one of the UK's most bankable stars, is confirmed to star in Dead Fish, an $11m thriller about a locksmith and a contract killer who accidentally switch mobile phones.

Dead Fish is being directed by Charley Stadler, a top Munich-based commercials director making his feature debut.

The script is written by Adam Kreutner and Dave Mitchell from a story by Stadler and Thomas Geiger. It was previously set up at Peter Hoffman's Seven Arts Entertainment, but has been substantially developed since Dan Maag and Philip Schulz-Deyle of Orange Pictures and Telenormfilm boarded.

The picture is being produced by Maag and Schulz-Deyle and sold internationally by Andrew Stevens' new outfit Powerhouse Pictures. Stevens and Garl Oldman's manager Doug Urbansky take executive credits.

"The basic premise of the original thriller has been maintained, but we are now using that as a different way of telling a story about two guys and a girl," said Maag, whose credits include recent Jamie Bell drama Deathwatch and Josephine.

The London-set production was originally scheduled to start in June, but was brought forward to accommodate Oldman's Harry Potter schedule. Successful UK club music group, Groove Armada will provide the soundtrack.

Finance comes from Germany's IMF tax fund which is backing Terminator 3 and Alexander, while a UK sale and leaseback is supplied by Invicta Capital. Mike Downey's F&ME UK will provide production services in the UK.