Producers Scott Free Productions and Route One Films announced the casting on Thursday (June 12). Mister Smith introduced the project in Cannes and has licensed more than 35 territories.
Pearce, who was recently seen in Cannes world premiere The Rover, joins Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult and reunites with Breathe In director Drake Doremus.
Production on Equals is scheduled to commence in Japan and Singapore in August.
The futuristic love story takes place in a society where emotions have been eradicated. Screen International Stars Of Tomorrow: Brits In LA 2013 selection Nathan Parker of Moon fame wrote the screenplay.
Producing are Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Ann Ruark alongside Jay Stern and Chip Diggins of project financiers Route One. Mike Pruss, Lee Jea Woo, Choi Pyung Ho and Russell Levine are executive producers.
UTA Independent Film Group arranged financing for the project and represents North American rights.