James McAvoy will star in Wim Wenders’ romantic thriller “Submergence” with shooting starting in March in Europe and Africa.

The story is based on J.M. Ledgard’s 2011 novel of the same name with Erin Dignam adapting. Cameron Lamb will produce the film through Lila 9th Productions, and Paris-based Backup Media will finance.

UTA Independent Film Group packaged the film and will be representing the U.S. sale. Lamb and Backup’s Joel Thibout made the announcement Monday at the American Film Market, which officially opens Nov. 4.

“Submergence” centers on two lovers, immersed in life or death situations and separated by thousands of miles, who find solace in memories of their intense romance the previous Christmas after a chance encounter on a beach on the Atlantic coast. One is enduring captivity by jihadist fighters in Somalia while the other is exploring the greatest depths of the ocean floor from her submersible.

“Submergence” was ranked second in New York Magazine’s The Best Ten Books of 2013.

McAvoy next stars as Victor Von Frankenstein in Fox’s “Victor Frankenstein.” He recently wrapped “X-Men: Apocalypse” where he reprised his role as Charles Xavier, and is currently filming M. Night Shyamalan’s horror movie “Split,” after which he begins production on “Coldest City” with Charlize Theron.

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

McAvoy is represented by UTA, United Agents and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.