The German production arm of France's StudioCanal, StudioCanal Produktion, is to co-produce Robert Schwentke's directorial debut Tattoo, it's second project following Edward Berger's love story Frau 2 Sucht Happy End.

StudioCanal's German theatrical arm, Tobis StudioCanal (TSC), has set an autumn 2001 release for the thriller, which has been shooting in Cologne since January 28. Munich-based Lounge Entertainment is producing. The story centres on a young detective, played by August Diehl, and his attempts to track down a serial killer who partly skins his victims.

"Robert Schwentke's screenplay is the most exciting German thriller story idea I have read for years," said Wiebke Toppel, head of production at StudioCanal Produktion. "The decision to come on board the project as co-producer was simple and made at sensational speed. Tattoo is genre cinema. A gripping, extreme thriller, extraordinarily cast and visually very promising."

The film, which is Lounge Entertainment's third production, is also being co-produced by ARRI boss Bobby Arnold's B.A. Film and backed by Filmstiftung NRW, Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the Federal German Film Board (FFA).