Protagonist Pictures will handle worldwide sales on “Beast,” the Michael Pearce romantic thriller that will have its premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

The film star Jessie Buckley, who was recently in “Taboo” and is currently filming “Country Music,” as a troubled young woman living in a small island community.

She falls in love with a mysterious outsider, played by Johnny Flynn (“Genius”), and is then forced to defend him when he is suspected of involvement in a series of brutal murders.

Geraldine James (“Dummy”), Charley Palmer Rothwell (“Dunkirk”) and Trystan Gravelle (“Mr Selfridge”) also star in the film, which is Pearce’s feature directorial debut after a series of shorts, including BAFTA-nominated “RITE,” and “Keeping Up With The Joneses.”

“Beast” will be in the Platform selection at TIFF, where Protagonist will introduce the film to buyers.

“Michael Pearce is without doubt one the UK’s most talented new filmmakers and the team at Protagonist couldn’t be more thrilled to present his incredible debut feature in the Platform Section at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival,” said Protagonist CEO Dave Bishop.

The film was produced by Agile Films (“Next Goal Wins”) and Stray Bear Films (“War Book”). It was developed and backed by Film4 and the BFI. Agile’s Kristian Brodie, and Stray Bear’s Lauren Dark and Ivana MacKinnon, are producers on the project.

Film4’s Sam Lavender, the BFI’s Natascha Wharton, Agile Films’ Myles Payne and David Staniland, and David Kosse are executive producers.