UK actor Ray Fearon, who appeared in the soap opera Coronation Street and Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, has been cast as the male lead for German director Oskar Roehler's next feature Lulu And Jimi, to follow his 2006 Berlinale competition film Elementary Particles (Elementarteilchen).

Fearon, who is currently on stage at London's Young Vic in Thomas Otway's The Soldier's Fortune, will appear opposite young German actress Teresa Weissbach, who made her film debut at the age of 17 in Leander Haussmann's directorial debut Sun Alley (Sonnenallee).

The two will play Romeo and Juliet-style lovers fighting against the odds in a 1950s Germany full of prejudice and narrowmindedness. Other parts are taken by Katrin Sass, Udo Kier und Rolf Zacher.

Lulu And Jimi will be the first feature film project by the new company sperl+schott film, set up by Bavarian Television's former TV drama chief Gabriela Sperl and producer Uwe Schott last year.

The project, which is scheduled to shoot in the Thuringian Forest and North Rhine-Westphalia from July, is being handled internationally by Beta Film and will be released in Germany by X Verleih.

Sperl said she is currently in negotiations with English and French production partners to possibly come onboard the project as co-producers.