EXCLUSIVE: Luke Evans, star of The Hobbit, is to play the lead in an adaptation of Andy McNab action thriller SAS: Red Notice.

Altitude Film Entertainment, Parabolic Pictures and Vertigo Films will produce the action thriller and Luke Evans, whose upcoming films include Dracula Untold and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, is attached to play Tom Buckingham.

Altitude Film Sales introduces the project to buyers today in Cannes and will partner with WME Global on the U.S. rights. SquareOne Entertainment has acquired distribution rights for German-speaking territories.

Nick Love (The Sweeney) directs from a screenplay by Laurence Malkin and Chad Thumann based on the bestselling novel by former SAS operator Andy McNab.

Will Clarke, Laurence Malkin, Allan Niblo and James Richardson will produce the film. Executive producers are McNab, Mike Runagall, Andy Mayson, and Jack Drewe. Daniel Findlay will co-produce.

SAS: Red Notice is an action thriller set in the Channel Tunnel, where 100 meters underground 20 accused war criminals hold 400 hostages. Only one man can get them out alive – Tom Buckingham – an SAS operator who is trying to save his relationship with the woman he loves. The explosive conflict rages from Central London to the very heart of Paris, where Tom uncovers a conspiracy.

McNab has been a driving force behind this project since its inception, according to the producers, and he will be integral to its realization during the film’s production.

“I am very excited to be working with Nick and Luke,” said McNab. “I have admired Nick’s work for years and Luke’s involvement as Tom Buckingham makes this an incredibly exciting project to be involved in.”

Director Nick Love said: “SAS is a fantastic project and I am thrilled to be working with Andy McNab and Luke Evans in what will be a very modern action thriller.”