Kristin Scott-Thomas will co-star with Romain Duris in Arsene Lupin, a big-budget story of 19th century adventure, romance and burglary.

The film to be directed by Jean-Paul Salome is an adaptation of La Comtesse De Cagliostro, the first of the celebrated Lupin novels by Maurice Leblanc. The screenplay is by Salome and Laurent Vachard.

The French-language film is budgeted at Euros 23m and produced by Stephane Marsil's Hugo Films and TF1 International. The film will be released in France by SND - the theatrical cousin of M6 - and sold internationally by TF1 International.

Early scenes will shoot at Paris opera in mid-August, before 16 weeks of principal photography in France and Germany starts fully in mid-September.

TF1 International sales chief Nicholas Eschbach said that the film would also have German and UK co-producers

Scott-Thomas, whose seductive and murderous character is key to the development of Lupin as gentleman burglar, said: "this is the kind of role that I have dreamed of since I was a little girl."