John Hurt will take a leading role in Spanish director Álex de la Iglesia's Oxford Murders, based on an award-winning novel by the Argentinean writer Guillermo Martinez, according to Production Weekly.

In the English-language thriller, Hurt will play an Oxford University professor embroiled in the investigation of a series of murders seemingly linked by mathematical symbols.

De la Iglesia, wrote the script with his long-time co-writer Jorge Guerricaechevarria, it begins on a summer day in Oxford, when a young Argentine graduate student finds his landlady -- an elderly woman who helped crack the Enigma Code during World War II -- murdered in cold blood. Meanwhile, a renowned Oxford logician receives an anonymous note bearing a circle and the words "the first of a series." As the murders begin to pile up and more symbols are revealed, it is up to this unlikely pair to decipher the pattern before the killer strikes again.

Filming dates in Oxford and London are still under negotiation.