Michael Smiley, David Threlfall, Ben Mendelsohn and Jodie Whittaker join Jude Law on submarine thriller, which has begun production in the UK.

Kevin Macdonald’s Black Sea, starring Jude Law as a salvage submarine captain that goes rogue, has begun shooting in the UK and new cast members have been revealed.

Boarding the project are BIFA winner Michael Smiley, star of Kill List, and David Threlfall, best known for his long-running role in UK drama Shameless. Also joining are Ben Mendelsohn, recently seen opposite Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond the Pines, and Jodie Whittaker, star of Attack the Block, Venus and Good Vibrations.

They join a cast that already includes Scoot McNairy (Argo), Grigoriy Dobrygin, Konstantin Khabenskiy, Sergey Kolesnikov and Sergey Puskepalis.

The film centres on a rogue submarine captain who - after being laid off from a salvage company - pulls together a misfit crew to go after a sunken treasure rumored to be lost in the depths of the Black Sea. As greed and desperation take control onboard the claustrophobic vessel, the increasing uncertainty of the mission causes the men to turn on each other to fight for their own survival.

Cowboy Films’ Charles Steel produces alongside Macdonald, who reteam following the collaboration on The Last King of Scotland and How I Live Now, which will be released this autumn.

Black Sea is set for release in 2014 and is co-produced and co-financed by Focus Features and Film4.

Dennis Kelly, creator of cult UK TV series Utopia, wrote the original screenplay.

Director of photography Christopher Ross (Eden Lake) joins the crew along with production designer Nick Palmer (Red Tails), costume designer Natalie Ward (The Debt) and editor Justine Wright (The Iron Lady).

Focus holds worldwide rights, excluding UK free-TV rights which are held by Film4, and secured a multi-territory deal with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition that covered Germany, Austria, German-speaking Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Latin America.

Backup Media has invested against distribution rights in France, Benelux and French-speaking Switzerland and will place the film with distributors.

Elsewhere deals have closed in Australia and New Zealand (eOne), China (E-Star), CIS (Top Films), Israel (Lev Cinema) and South Africa (Ster-Kinekor).