CANNES — Rachel Weisz is set to star in “Snatchback,” a thriller set in the dangerous world of illegal child recovery. It is written and will be directed by Pete Travis (“Vantage Point”).

Weisz, who appears in two competition films at Cannes — “The Lobster” and “Youth” –developed the project with Travis and producer Frida Torresblanco (“Pan’s Labyrinth”), whose New York-based Braven Films is producing. Weisz and Torresblanco are producers.

Weisz portrays Mo, whose daughter was abducted by the father when she was 3 years old. In the years after the kidnapping, Mo becomes a mercenary engaged in dangerous missions across the Middle East to help other families recover kidnapped children, while never giving up on her own search.

The film is inspired by the true story of Maureen Dabbagh, a woman from Virginia whose ex-husband stole away their 2-year-old daughter, and took her to the Middle East in 1992. She spent over a decade searching for her child, one of 1,000 children illegally abducted from the U.S. each year, before she finally found her.

Eric Laufer, Giovanna Randall and Josh Goldstein will exec produce. Jon Furay and James LaVigne will co-produce, in association with Vigorous Pictures. “Snatchback” is scheduled to shoot later this year. Protagonist Pictures is selling the pic in Cannes.