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LONDON — Wim Wenders started principal photography Tuesday in Berlin on romantic thriller “Submergence,” which stars James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander. Filming will take place in France, Germany, Spain and Africa, before wrapping in July.

Embankment is handling international sales. UTA Independent Film Group packaged the project and is handling the U.S. sale.

The pic is based on the novel by J.M. Ledgard from a screenplay by Erin Dignam (“The Last Face”). It is the story of James More (McAvoy), a water engineer who is taken hostage in Somalia by Jihadist fighters who suspect that he is a British spy. Danielle “Danny” Flinders (Vikander) is a biomathematician working on a deep sea-diving project to support her theory of the origin of life on the planet.

James and Danny only met a few weeks earlier, in an isolated hotel on the Atlantic coast, where they were both preparing for their dangerous missions. The last thing they had in mind was falling in love: they recognize in each other the love of their lives, except they’re now worlds apart, unable to reach each other. As Danny descends to the ocean floor, she doesn’t even know if James is still alive.

Cameron Lamb is producing through Lila 9th Productions with Neue Road Movie Dritte Produktionen, while Paris-based Backup Media is financing. Co-producers are Morena Films and U Media.

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Wenders’ last feature “Every Thing Will Be Fine” debuted at Berlin Film Festival last year. Wenders’ “The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez,” starring Reda Kateb, Sophie Semin and Nick Cave, has just been completed and will be released later this year.

McAvoy is represented by UTA and United Agents. Vikander is represented by UTA and Tavistock Wood.