Noomi Rapace is to play real-life Israeli Mossad agent Sylvia Rafael in a new action movie.

Known for her career-defining turn in 2009's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Swedish star Noomi has also showed off her butt-kicking skills in films like Close and Unlocked.

For her next project, Sylvia, the 39-year-old actress is reteaming with Vicky Jewson, who wrote and directed action thriller Close, and WestEnd Films, under the company's WeLove banner, which is aimed at female audiences.

According to Variety, the film will follow Sylvia, a South African-born agent who rose to prominence in Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. She was noted for her intelligence work in locating Ali Hassan Salameh, the leader of Palestine's Black September organisation and the figure behind the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. But the mission led to her involvement in the infamous Lillehammer affair, in which an innocent Moroccan waiter was mistakenly identified as Salameh and killed by Rafael's team. Rafael was tried in Norway and imprisoned. She died in South Africa in 2005.

"What is so enticing about this project is the opportunity to tell the true story of an extraordinary woman, who sacrificed a huge part of her life for a country that was not originally her own," Vicky said in a statement. "I am keen to explore the unique personality of someone who put their life at risk on a daily basis and lived under a permanent dual identity, searching beyond the often glamorously perceived title of 'spy' to the gritty reality of this life and what drove her.

"Sylvia is exactly the sort of character-driven story we (Noomi and I) want to bring to the screen."

Vicky's Close writing partner Rupert Whitaker is helping to pen the script, which is inspired by the book Sylvia Rafael: The Life and Death of a Mossad Spy.