In what is turning out to be a busy week for the London, LA and Munich-based company, indie powerhouse Intermedia is finalising a deal to board Walter Salles' $20m-$30m period drama The Assumption Of The Virgin, which is set to star Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche.

The project is expected to be the first UK production to come through Mirage Enterprises in London since Anthony Minghella became a partner in the company in May. Intermedia, which has a longterm partnership with Mirage, is partnering on the project with BBC Films, which developed the story of a nun seduced and lured away from a convent.

Carolyn Choa and David Lascelles are set to produce while Choa's Oscar-winner husband Minghella, Perpetual Motion's Mark Shivas and BBC Films' David Thompson will take executive producer credits. Salles, the Brazilian director of Oscar-nominated Central Station, is expected to shoot the film early next year from a script by noted TV writer Leigh Jackson, responsible for acclaimed series Warriors. Binoche is likely to make the project her next film after Lasse Hallstrom's Chocolat.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Anthony Minghella became an equal partner in Mirage this year, teaming with Sydney Pollack, the producer of Minghella's The Talented Mr Ripley and founder of Mirage. Los Angeles-based Mirage is in the process of establishing an office in London, where Minghella is based.

Assumption is to join another Mirage project on Intermedia's roster - Phillip Noyce's The Quiet American, starring Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser. Mirage's first film with Intermedia was Sliding Doors, followed by Up At The Villa and Blow Dry, which was produced with West Eleven Films.