Ed Harris is expected to join Joaquin Phoenix in the cast of Buffalo Soldiers, FilmFour's $15m tale of US soldiers stationed in West Germany circa 1989.

Anna Paquin is also understood to be in talks to star in the film, which starts shooting in Germany next month. Directed by Gregor Jordan, the adaptation of Robert O'Connor's cult novel is a darkly comic the story about a criminal subculture among a group of young soldiers.

Phoenix is signed to play drug-dealing army clerk Ray Elwood, who finds himself falling in love with the daughter of the sergeant who is investigating him. Although FilmFour would not confirm or deny the talks, Paquin would play the daughter if she boards.

FilmFour is majority financing. Good Machine, which was already working on the project when FilmFour boarded, is selling the world outside the UK and Germany on behalf of FilmFour. Germany's Odeon is co-financing, as is German regional funding board MFG.

Buffalo marks the debut production of Gorilla Entertainment, the UK production outfit set up by former PolyGram Film International executive Rainer Grupe with Ariane Moody.