John Malkovich is set to star in Drunkboat, the first feature to be made by Daniel Walker, a Paris-based lawyer who has now moved into production.

The film, which is written and directed by polymath theatre director-artist-actor Bob Meyer, is a coming of age story and a journey of self-discovery for a man emerging from alcoholic wilderness. An adaptation of Meyer's stage play of the same name, it tells the story of a 12-year old boy who will stop at nothing to buy the sail-boat of his obsessive uncle's dreams.

'After ten years as a service provider to other people's productions, I am at last in a position to be able to create something on my own account,' said Walker. 'Drunkboat is an amazing story which I'm sure will interest US and international investors.'

The $4m Drunkboat is the first picture to emerge from Walker's company Force Majeur and will shoot for eight weeks in Chicago and Canada this August.

Walker, who established the successful Walker & Associates legal practice, is also readying Distances, the feature debut of Mohamed Ulad-Mohand, a producer-director who previously won the prestigious Prix Hachette and won a place on the Villa Medicis programme.