Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff are to star in Nowhere Boy, a film that recounts the story of John Lennon's early years and his first steps towards stardom .

Newcomer Aaron Johnson will play the young Lennon while Scott Thomas has been cast as Lennon's Aunt Mimi and Duff is to take on the role of Julia, Lennon's mother.

Nowhere Boy is the debut feature of Sam Taylor-Wood who was nominated for a Palme d'Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival for her Film4 debut short Love You More.

Academy Award nominated for her work in The English Patient, Scott Thomas' recent work in Philippe Claudel's I've Loved You So Long won her the 2008 European Film Award as Best Actress and a Golden Globe nomination.

Duff's film credits include John Crowley's upcoming Is There Anybody There', Peter Mullan's The Magdalene Sisters and Roger Goldby's The Waiting Room.

Johnson has just wrapped as the central lead in Matthew Vaughn's Kick Ass alongside Nicolas Cage. Prior to that he featured in The Greatest, which premieres in Sundance, and played the romantic lead in Gurinder Chadha's Angus, Thongs andPerfect Snogging.

The screenplay was written by Matt Greenhalgh, winner of the BAFTA Carl Foreman Award in 2007 for Control. The film will be produced by Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae for Ecosse Films (Brideshead Revisited, The Waterhorse, Becoming Jane) and Kevin Loader (Venus, The Mother). HanWay Films has taken on sales.

Icon has taken the rights for the UK and Australia, while Mars Distribution has taken rights for France who will release the film in 2010. Principal photography will start March 2009 on location in Liverpool and at Ealing Studios and the film is due to be released in 2010.