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Alicia Vikander in Negotiations to Star in Wim Wenders’ ‘Submergence’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Hollywood’s red-hot star Alicia Vikander is in advanced negotiations to topline Wim Wenders’ romantic thriller “Submergence” opposite James McAvoy.

The film is based on J.M. Ledgard’s novel of the same name that ranked second in New York Magazine’s list of the 10 Best Books of 2013.

Penned by Erin Dignam (“The Last Face”), “Submergence” centers on two lovers, facing life-or-death situations and separated by thousands of miles, who find solace in memories of their romance. One is held captive by jihadist fighters in Somalia while the other is exploring the greatest depths of the ocean floor from her submersible.

The Swedish-born Vikander stars opposite Eddie Redmayne in Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl,” which had a robust bow in the U.S., grossing $185,000 over Thanksgiving weekend, and has earned solid awards buzz since opening at the Venice Film Festival.

The 27-year-old Vikander, who has been making some wise career choices, earned critical acclaim with the foreign-language Oscar nominee “A Royal Affair” as well as Lisa Langseth’s “Hotell,” before breaking through to international audiences with “Ex Machina.” She’s also starred in James Kent’s “Testament of Youth” and Guy Ritchie’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” Her slate of upcoming projects includes the untitled “Bourne” sequel with Matt Damon.

Cameron Lamb is producing “Submergence” through Lila 9th Productions, while Paris-based Backup Media is financing. The French company’s credits include “Still Alice,” which it also financed.

“Submergence” will start shooting in March in Europe and Africa.

UTA Independent Film Group packaged “Submergence” and will be representing the U.S. sale.

Wenders’ directing credits include “Paris, Texas,” “The State of Things,” “Wings of Desire,” “Buena Vista Social Club,” “Pina” and “Salt of the Earth.”

Wikander is repped by UTA, Tavistock Wood Management and Laura Munsterhjelm in Sweden.

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