Protagonist Pictures to sell Yorgos Lanthimos’ English-language debut at the EFM.

Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz are to play the lead roles in The Lobster, the first film in the English language by Yorgos Lanthimos, the Oscar-nominated Greek director behind Dogtooth and Alps.  

The Lobster is set to begin shooting on March 24 in Ireland.

Previously announced cast members include Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed and Angeliki Papoulia.  Several other roles in the ensemble are currently being finalized.

Co-written by Lanthimos and his long-time collaborator, award-winning Efthimis Filippou, the film is described as “an unconventional love story set in a dystopian future where finding a partner is a matter of life or death”.

It is being produced by Element Pictures, Limp, and Scarlet Films. Producers on the film are Lanthimos, Lee Magiday, Ed Guiney and Ceci Dempsey, with Element’s Andrew Lowe acting as executive producer.

Partnering on the project are Christos V. Konstantakopoulos of Faliro House in Greece, Carole Scotta of Haut et Court (who will be both the French co-producer and distributor of the film) and Derk-Jan Warrink, Joost de Vries and Leontine Petit of Lemming Films in Holland.

Protagonist Pictures is handling worldwide sales on the film at the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin this week.

The Lobster is financed by the BFI Film Fund - the first through its minority co-production strand - as well as the Irish Film Board, Eurimages, Greek Film Centre, CNC and the Dutch Film Fund. 

Speaking of Farrell and Weisz’s involvement, Lanthimos said: “Their contribution to our film will enrich and expand the world we are trying to create and explore. Furthermore our team of old and new collaborators makes me very confident and excited to start making this film.”

Farrell, a Golden Globe winner for In Bruges, was recently seen in Disney drama Saving Mr Banks and is the star of Akiva Goldsman’s upcoming Winter’s Tale for Warner Bros. In post-production are Miss Julie in which he co-stars with Jessica Chastain for director Liv Ullman, and Solace, Afonso Poyart’s supernatural thriller in which he stars with Anthony Hopkins.

Weisz, who won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for The Constant Gardener, has also starred in blockbusters The Mummy, The Bourne Legacy and Oz The Great And Powerful, as well as Alejandro Amenabar’s Agora and Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea for which she was named best actress of 2011 by the New York Film Critics Circle.