Ed Zwick, riding high on the back of his Oscar-nominated global hit Blood Diamond, is preparing the Second World War Polish Resistance epic Defiance and has cast Daniel Craig in the lead.

At time of writing several buyers were circling for domestic rights to the Bedford Falls production, which Zwick will produce and direct from his original screenplay.

Grosvenor Park is financing and will serve as executive producers on the project, which is believed to be in the mid $50m range and is scheduled to begin filming in September. Scouts are eyeing locations in Eastern Europe and Canada.

The true story follows four brothers in Nazi-occupied Poland that flee into the Belarussian Forest with a band of Jews and join up with Russian Resistance fighters.

Jere Hausfater's Los Angeles-based sales agency Essential Entertainment is handling international sales on the title, which has already sparked intense interest among international buyers here on the Croisette.

The film is being lined up for a fourth quarter 2008 release in time for what parties involved in the project said will be a major Academy Awards push.

Essential is also selling Senator Entertainment's Bret Easton Ellis adaptation The Informers, currently in pre-production, and ensemble drama Fireflies In The Garden, which has wrapped and stars Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Carrie-Anne Moss and Julia Roberts.

The slate includes the Sammy Hadida titles Solomon Kane, which Michael J Bassett will direct based on Robert E Howard's comic book character, and the action thriller Killing Suki Flood, which Louis-Pascal Couvelaire is lining up to direct.