Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz are expected to board an unusual project where the city of Paris is the star.

The picture, Paris Je T'Aime, is being put together by Novem, a Franco-US production company headed by Emmanuel Benbihy and Mel Gee Henderson. Structured as a portmanteau, the film-makers have invited a number of different directors to make five minute shorts in each of the French capital's 20 'arrondissements.' The unifying theme is the vague notion of 'falling in love.'

Cruise and Cruz are keen to star as a famous couple hounded by Mexican tourists as they walk round the 4th arrondissement in a segment made by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

'We have been overwhelmed by the ballooning interest in our picture and the international talent which has put itself forward to become involved,' said Benbihy. The project had originally been intended to be ready by Cannes and made on a budget of Euros 5m. Now the budget has grown to Euros 8m and delivery seems scheduled for mid 2004.

Other directors including Brazil's Walter Salles, China's Jiang Wen, Japan's Nobohiro Suwa, The UK's Tim Roth and Spain's Fernando Trueba are also on board. Three segments have already been shot by Tom Tykwer, Agnes Varda and Sally Potter.

All directors are being paid exactly the same, their crew choices are limited to first assistant and cast, while they are also limited to a set amount of film stock - as well as the producer's commitment to quality and the filming of links between all the segments.