Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenberg have been cast as the leads in Julia Loktev’s thriller The Loneliest Planet, which is set to commence principal photography in the republic of Georgia on July 26.

Loktev is directing from his screenplay about a young couple backpacking through the Caucasus Mountains in the Republic of Georgia.

When they hire a local guide to help them navigate the isolated wilderness their relationship is tested. The story was inspired by a short story from Tom Bissell.

Match Factory is handling international sales and Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy are producing through their company Parts And Labor alongside Flying Moon’s Helge Albers and Marie Therese Guirgis.

Wild Invention’s Rabinder Sira, Dallas M Brennan and Chris Gilligan serve as executive producers with Diversified Film Group’s Gregory Shockro and Shelby Alan Brown. Additional financial backing comes from ZDF/Arte and the Hessen Invest Fund.

Loktev, a New York-based film-maker born in St Petersburg, previously directed Day Night Day Night.

Bernal recently headed the Camera D’Or jury at Cannes and will next star in Earthbound opposite Kate Hudson and Kathy Bates.