Colin Firth Boards 'Theory of Everything' Director's Yacht Drama

Colin Firth as Bill Haydon
Jack English/Focus Features

As the dashing Bill Haydon, Colin Firth plays the suspect known as "tailor."

The upcoming film will be sold in Berlin by StudioCanal.

Colin Firth is set to take the lead in an upcoming project charting a British businessman and amateur sailor's failed real-life attempt to win a round-the-world yacht race.

The Theory of Everything director James Marsh, who already has an Oscar for documentary Man on Wire, will helm the title, announced Tuesday by Blueprint Pictures and BBC Films. The film is being sold internationally in Berlin by StudioCanal.

Read more StudioCanal Launches Pre-Sales on Animated Film With Marion Cotillard

Firth will play Donald Crowhurst, who in 1968 took part in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race only to soon find he lacked the experience necessary to complete the round-the-world voyage. His boat was eventually found abandoned, with Crowhurst assumed to have jumped overboard and drowned.

Writer-director Scott Z. Burns has penned the screenplay, which is believed to be based on the 2006 documentary Deep Water. Burns will produce alongside Pete Czernin and Graham Broadbent of the London-based Blueprint and Nicholas Mauvernay and Jacques Perrin of French production house Galatee Films. The project was developed by Christine Langan from BBC Films and StudioCanal.

Read more Colin Firth Open to Returning for 'Bridget Jones 3'

Both StudioCanal and BBC Films are financing, with StudioCanal distributing across its own territories.

Principal photography on the film is due to start in the spring.