Image Entertainment is boarding “Tokarev,” acquiring North American rights to Hannibal Classics’ upcoming Nicolas Cage action-thriller with plans for a first-quarter theatrical release.

Hannibal Classics is handling worldwide sales and selling the film in Cannes. Lensing by Spanish director Paco Cabezas is set to start in Alabama in June.

“Tokarev” producers are Hannibal Classics topper Richard Rionda Del Castro and Michael Mendelsohn. Union Patriot Capital is financing. Cage is exec producing with Patricia Eberle, Mike Nilon, Hayley Magouirk, Jim Agnew, Sean Keller, Cam Cannon, Martin J. Barab and Frederico Lapenda.

Cage will play a former criminal in search of his daughter’s kidnappers.

“Tokarev” deal was negotiated by Bill Bromiley, Mark Ward and Michael Bayer on behalf of Image Entertainment and on behalf of Hannibal Classics by Rionda Del Castro and Martin J. Barab of Hamrick & Evans.