Chan returns to direct 'Wu Xia'

'Bodyguards' producer wants to 're-boot' martial arts

HONG KONG – Peter Chan Ho-sun will return to directing with “Wu Xia," a $20 million martial arts epic that reunites him with the star of his previous directing effort, 2007 “The Warlords” star Takeshi Kaneshiro, and sees reigning action king Donnie Yen (“Ip Man”) as both lead and action choreographer. Chinese actress Tang Wei, of Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” and this year’s Ivy Ho romantic comedy “Crossing Hennessy" rounds out the main cast.

“Wu Xia," Chan’s first foray into the martial arts genre -- which he said would reboot with a new visual style -- is produced and financed under Chan’s own We Pictures, and sales will be repped by his sales outfit We Distribution. Chan produced the award-sweeping “Bodyguards and Assassins” last year under We Pictures. That blockbuster grossed over 300 million yuan (US$44 million) in China alone.

Kaneshiro takes the role of a detective determined to catch a repentant killer, played by Yen, who has retreated to a remote village. Oscar-nominated production designer Yee Chung Man (“Curse of the Golden Flower”), award-winning costume designer Dora Ng (“Bodyguards and Assassins”), and director of photography Jake Pollock (“The Message," “Monga”) have joined the production.

Filming will commence at the end of August in Tengchong in China's Yunnan province. Release is scheduled for the second half of 2011.
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