Nicolas Cage is to headline Brian Goodman’s psychological thriller Black Butterfly (working title) which will be the first project for the cinema from Bavariapool International Coproductions, a joint venture between Bavaria Film and Telepool.

The $13m international co-production between Bavariapool and Paradox Entertainment will also star German actress Veronica Ferres (Klimt) and is set to begin shooting in the Harz mountains in Saxony-Anhalt at the beginning of 2012.

Actor Goodman had previously directed the film What Doesn’t Kill You, starring Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo, in 2008.

The screenplay by Steve Hilts and Justin Stanley — about the reclusive author Paul (Cage) taking a drifter in with unforeseen consequences — is based on the 2008 French TV thriller Papillon Noir by Christian Faure which featured ex-footballer-turned-actor Eric Cantona in the role of the drifter.

This week, Black Butterfly received €750,000 ($1.03m) from the Leipzig-based regional fund Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM) in its latest funding session when over €4.4m ($6m) was paid out to 30 projects.

€750,000 ($1.03m) was also allocated in this round to Tradewind Pictures’ production of Ali Samadi Ahadi’s Pettersson & Findus – Kleiner Quälgeist, große Freundschaft. The mix of live action and animated characters is based on the successful children’s books by Sven Nordqvist and will be produced from February 2012 at the Children’s Media Centre in Erfurt and the MMC Studios in Cologne.

MDM’s funding committee also supported new projects from Sergey Dvortsevoy (Ayka), Arnaud des Paillières (Michael Kohlhaas), Aida Begic (Bait), Hüseyin Karabey (Come To My Voice), Sputnik (Markus Dietrich) and documentaries by Vitaly Mansky (The Pipeline), Thomas Heise (Begegnung) and Sung-Hyung Cho (Die Liebe in den Zeiten der Mauer).

Bavariapool  International Coproductions was established in 2008 by Bavaria Film and the Telepool subsidiary Europool Europäische Medien Beteiligungs GmbH to become involved in large-scale international co-productions for television and the cinema.

Bavaria Film and Telepool both have common shareholders in Bayerischer Rundfunk, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk/Drefa and SWR Holding and decided last month to embark on another joint venture with the launching - as of January 2012 - of Global Screen GmbH which will handle the worldwide distribution of cinema and television programmes outside German-speaking European territories.