Cannes: Joaquin Phoenix Joins Lynne Ramsay Project 'You Were Never Really Here'

Joaquin Phoenix Lynne Ramsay Split - H 2016
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for AFI/Venturelli/WireImage

Vincent Maraval's Insiders is shopping the project, about a troubled war veteran, to buyers in Cannes.

Joaquin Phoenix is set to star in You Were Never Really Here, the new feature from Scottish director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin).

The feature, described as a character-driven thriller, focuses on a war veteran troubled by his past, who now works to rescue women from sex traffickers. When he tries to rescue a girl from a brothel in New York, things go horribly wrong, setting off a wave of violence and vengeance.

Ramsay will direct from her own script, adapted from a novella by Jonathan Ames, the creator of HBO show Bored to Death.

Insiders, the L.A.-based sales company headed by Wild Bunch co-chief Vincent Maraval, is handling the project and shopping it to buyers in Cannes. Insiders is handling all territories outside of France and the U.K., which are being handled by France's Why Not Productions, co-producers on the project alongside shingle Page 114. The U.K.’s Film4 and the British Film Institute supported development of the project.

You Were Never Really Here is Ramsay's first since We Need to Talk About Kevin, which premiered in the Cannes competition in 2011. The film about the mother of a boy who carries out a school massacre received a Golden Globe nomination for star Tilda Swinton.

Insiders, launched just ahead of Cannes last year, has its first film in competition at the festival this year with Jeff Nichols' Loving, which premieres Monday.