EXCLUSIVE: Catherine Deneuve has joined the cast of Cannes award-winning director Jaco Van Dormael’s surreal comedy in which God lives in Brussels.

The Brand New Testament will star comedian Benoit Poelvoorde as God and Yolande Moreau as God’s wife. Deneuve, the Belle du Jour star who more recently starred in Potiche, also features.

The original story, co-written by Van Dormael and Thomas Gunzig, portrays God as an odious character who is disliked by his family.

His daughter, Ea, decides to run away from home but first hacks her father’s computer and lets everyone in the world know the date when they are going to die. God takes to the streets to find Ea and discovers the horrors of a world he created himself.

Produced by Van Dormael, Olivier Rausin, Daniel Marquet, David Grumbach, and Frank Van Passel, the film is set up as a Belgium, French and Luxembourg coproduction with an $11.4m (€8.3m) budget.

Principal photography begins on July 7 in Brussels and will be shot by Christophe Beaucarne, who previously worked with Van Dormael on Mr Nobody in 2009 and is also known for his work on Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo and Coco Before Chanel.

Le Pacte is selling world rights and will release the film in France.

Van Dormael won the Camera d’Or in 1991 with Toto The Hero and was nominated for the Palme d’Or in 1996 with The Eighth Day.