Fresh from Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down, Tom Sizemore has signed up to play the lead in the Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn's english-language debut, Fear The X, co-written by Hubert Selby Jr. (Last Exit To Brooklyn).

Fear The X begins shooting in the US and Rio from November with a $6.6m budget. The story follows security guard Harry Cain (Sizemore) who pursues his wife's murderer to Brazil.

The 31 year-old writer-director, who lived in New York for 10 years, made his feature debut in 1996 with the urban action-thriller Pusher. After his next feature, Bleeder, Refn had his US agent Nadia Redler contact Hubert Selby Jr.. "I was introduced to Last Exit To Brooklyn some seven years ago, and I was completely taken by it," the director told Screen Daily. "His mixture of brutality and poetry, love and pain, the whole emotional impact the story had on me, is just what I seek in any kind of art."

Selby recently adapted his own novel Requiem For A Dream with director Darren Aronofsky, but Fear The X is a completely original piece of work. "It has been one of the biggest experiences in my life working with Selby," said Refn.

The director is presently casting and scouting locations in Los Angeles.

A Danish/UK production Fear The X is produced by Henrik Danstrup and Refn's NWR ApS, and is backed by TV2/Denmark, the Danish Film Institute, Nordic Film & TV Fund as well as Egmont Entertainment, who hold Scandinavian rights. International sales are split between Zentropa's Trust Film Sales and Egmont's Nordisk Film International Sales, while former head of Metrodome Distribution, Rupert Preston, holds UK rights.