Production begins May 9 in France on “Halcyon Days,” the latest film from British producer Simon Perry. The period thriller, inspired by an Agatha Christie story, will be financed by Polygram.

Gramercy Pictures is in line to distribute the film in the U.S.

Perry, whose credits include “The Playboys” and “White Mischief,” is co-producing the film with Philippe Guez of France’s Septieme Prods. Budget is a little over $ 10 million.

Stephen Dorff (“Backbeat”) and Gabrielle Anwar (“Scent of a Woman”) will star as upper-class English siblings living in France in 1938, under investigation by a policeman played by Adrian Dunbar (“Hear My Song”) following a series of suspicious deaths.

Perry describes the film as “a cross between ‘Chinatown’ and ‘Les Enfants Terribles.’ ” The script was originally based on an Agatha Christie novel, but has since departed substantially from her story.

The director is France’s Patrick Dewolf, screenwriter of “Monsieur Hire” and “The Hairdresser’s Husband.” Polygram Film Intl. will handle sales outside the U.K. and France. BSkyB has acquired U.K. pay TV rights.

Perry will produce the film while continuing his day job as chief exec of British Screen Finance, the semi-public film funding body, which backs around 15 U.K. movies a year.

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