Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey's Icon Entertainment has boarded The Bothy, a tentatively titled UK thriller budgeted at $10m-$15m.

The project tells the story of an American serial killer on the loose in the Scottish Highlands during the worst storm in living memory. Ros Borland and Catherine Aitken are producing for Gabriel Films, the Scottish production company which is developing the project with writer James MacInnes.

Bruce Davey is producing for Icon, which is expected to handle worldwide sales and distribute in the UK and Australia. The partners are currently attaching a director with a view to shooting early next year.

The picture marks the second significant UK production Icon has boarded since August, when the company took UK and Australian rights on Assumption Of The Virgin. Sydney Pollack, who is producing through Mirage Enterprises, is considering directing the project after Walter Salles dropped out, citing creative differences.

Icon had a hit last year with UK comedy Kevin And Perry Go Large and is enjoying box-office success in Australia with another of its local productions, The Man Who Sued God. The UK distribution arm this week opened Ghost World in the UK opposite Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone for a robust screen average of £3,300 on 40 sites.

Gabriel Films is in development on futuristic thriller Alt. Earth and psychological thriller Blood Relative, which has backing from Scottish Screen, the Film Council and Wave Pictures. Also in the works is Passing Places, a comedy road movie set up with BBC Scotland.