BBC Films and Lionsgate UK board the Oscar Wilde film.

Hugh Dancy (Hannibal, Black Hawk Down) has signed on for a leading role in Rupert Everett’s directorial debut The Happy Prince, sold by Beta Cinema.

Dancy will star alongside Everett, who writes, directs and stars as Oscar Wilde. Other cast include Colin Firth, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson.

BBC Films has added the €10m production to their slate, coming on board as co-producer and broadcasting partner, while Lionsgate UK has committed as co-producer and UK distributor.

Completing the roster of co-producers are Firth and Ged Doherty with their new company, Raindog Films.

With €1.15m of production funding from the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF), the film has entered the pre-production phase.

Principal photography starts in October this year and will be at the Bavaria Film Studios in Munich and on locations in Italy, Belgium, France and the UK.

The Happy Prince is the untold story of the last days in the tragic life of Oscar Wilde – once a celebrity, genius, icon, and national treasure, he finds himself in the midst of a public meltdown.

It is a Germany-UK-France-Belgium-Italy co-production led by cine plus Filmproduktion, Jörg Schulze, Philipp Kreuzer and Frank Evers, Philippe Carcassonne’s ciné-@ and Robert Fox Ltd., in collaboration with Bavaria Film Partners.

The project is supported by the regional funds of Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg and FilmFernsehFonds Bayern in Germany. German distribution is in the hands of Concorde Filmverleih.