Irreversible pair and real life couple Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel are to star in Spy Bound (Agents Secrets), a big-budget thriller to be directed by Frederic Schoendorffer.

The Euros15m French-language film is produced by Doberman-producer Eric Neve through his company La Chauve Souris and makes its market splash as the newest addition to the slate of TF1 International. Details of the financing have yet to be confirmed by new TF1 films supremo Patrick Binet.

Also starring Charles Berling (Ridicule) and veteran Andre Dussolier (Tanguy), Spy Bound follows a team of France's top secret agents as they discover that their department is riddled with corruption.

"The film is aimed at an audience who wants respect by offering a film that is intelligent, but keeps them on the edge of their seat with a story that has dynamic rhythm and many reversals," said Schoendorffer. His 14-week shoot is to begin in March.

Neve and Schoendorffer have already assembled an impressive technical team. Jean-Pierre Sauvaire, whose credits include Le Boulet and Vidocq, will handle cinematography. Music will be by Bruno Couleis (Winged Migration, Crimson Rivers and Vidocq), with costumes by Virginie Monteil (Harry Is Here To Help).

TF1 is rapidly emerging as the country's powerhouse production finance and sales operation following the retreat of rival Studiocanal. The operation is also launching Peter Wellington-directed drama Luck and Wish I Was Rich (Ah, Si J'Etais Riche), by Michel Munz and Gerard Bitton. It is giving a debut screening to Alex De La Iglesia's 800 Bullets, one of the hottest pictures at the market.