Topher Grace has joined Richard Gere in Hyde Park Entertainment Group and Imagenation Abu Dhabi’s thriller The Double.

Wanted and 3:10 To Yuma screenwriter Michael Brandt will make his directorial debut on the project, based on a screenplay he co-wrote with writing partner Derek Haas.

Hyde Park International chief Mimi Steinbauer began talks with buyers at the EFM in Berlin and will bring the project to Cannes.

Hyde Park Chairman Ashok Amritraj and executive vice-president of production Patrick Aiello will produce along with Haas and Industry Entertainment’s Andrew Deane. Imagenation Abu Dhabi Chairman Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei and CEO Edward Borgerding will serve as executive producers.

Aiello brought the project to Hyde Park and will shepherd production when it kicks off in Detroit in June.

The Double centres on a retired CIA operative who partners with a young FBI agent to investigate the murder of a US senator that bears the hallmarks of a Soviet assassin long believed to be dead.

“Michael and Derek are extremely savvy and gifted writers whose style has raised the bar in Hollywood over the last few years,” Amritraj said. “They are exactly the calibre of talent that Hyde Park and Imagenation Abu Dhabi are looking to partner with, and we look forward to working with Michael on his directorial debut.”

“Derek and I have been working towards this, and finally getting behind the camera and working with actors like Richard Gere and Topher Grace is a dream come true,” Brandt said. “Ashok and Patrick have been supportive every step of the way. I’m a big fan of spy thrillers like The Conversation, Three Days Of The Condor, and No Way Out, and hope we can continue the tradition of those great films.”

Borgerding added: “The Double is a commercially viable film with high-calibre talent and writers. We are elated to have Richard and Topher aboard to bring this intense and elevated spy thriller to audiences around the world.”