Ellie Bamber and James Frecheville (Animal Kingdom) are set to headline crime pic The Seven Sorrows of Mary.

The film will be directed by Portuguese writer-director Pedro Varela (Os Filhos Do Rock) from his own screenplay, with shoot getting under way this month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Inspired by true events, the harrowing story follows Mary (Bamber), a 21 year old American exchange student, who is about to finish up her year abroad in Brazil. While out for a night on the town with her boyfriend Gabriel (Frecheville), they are both kidnapped. Gabriel is repeatedly beaten while Mary is raped by her captors during a six-hour abduction nightmare. After she gets away Mary is forced to choose between seizing a chance at freedom and letting Gabriel be killed, or returning to her brutal attackers.

The English-language film is produced by Blanche Filmes, Brazil and René Bastian of Belladonna Productions (Transamerica, Cold In July).

On paper, Bamber’s role has an echo of her memorable turn in Tom Ford’s Oscar-nominated Nocturnal Animals. The rising actress will next be seen in Disney’s The Nutcracker And The Four Realms and BBC’s Les Miserables.

Frecheville recently starred in BBC-Netflix gothic drama Requiem and will next be been starring opposite Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent and Barry Keoghan in Irish historical drama Black 47.

Bamber are Frecheville are repped by UTA. Bamber is additionally repped by Curtis Brown in the UK and Frecheville by MGMT and Sloan Offer.