First feature from creative duo Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski will be executive produced by Terry Gilliam. Kinology launching sales in Cannes.

Chloe Moretz, Asa Butterfield, Andrea Riseborough and Christian Friedel have signed to star in dark fairytale The White Circus, which is due to start shooting in Germany and Serbia in February 2014.

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It is the first feature from writing-directing team Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, known collectively as Clyde Henry.

The creative duo are best known for award-winning animation shorts Madame Tutli Putli and Higglety Pigglety Pop!. The latter, based on a book by Maurice Sendak, was produced by Spike Jonze and voiced by Meryl Streep and Forest Whitaker.

The White Circus is described as a “dark fairytale of with moments of brilliant black comedy”. It revolves around a young pilot who crashes his plane in a war-torn town where he befriends a talking circus bear, falls in love with a cabaret singer and challenges a maniacal despot.

Moretz and Butterfield previously starred together in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo.

Paris-based Kinology is launching sales on the The White Circus in Cannes.

The film is a co-production between Melissa Malkin of Montreal-based Silo Corporation, Gregoire Melin of Kinology, Stefan Arndt of German X-Filme, Andjelika Vlaisavljevic of Serbian Works in Progress. Terry Gilliam is executive producer.