According to Variety, actors Jeremy Northam and Fionnula Flanagan have signed on to star in a Thelma Production Russia and Big Star/Future Films co-production titled Checkmate. The pic is Big Star and Future Films' first collaboration since they announced their joint venture to produce films in Russia.

The film is a psychological thriller that chronicles the lives of the members of the Lazarov family and their dark secrets.

Flanagan, known for her performances in The Others and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, will take on the role of the matriarch. Northam, of Gosford Park fame, will play a real estate tycoon.

The film is scheduled to start shooting May 31 in St. Petersburg with first-time director, Olivier Bonas.

Brian B.