Hou targets 'Assassin' for next project


More news from the Pusan fest

BUSAN, South Korea -- The title alone, "The Assassin," tells you that festival favorite Hou Hsiao-Hsien's next film will be a world away from his usual languid, art house style.

Hou announced the project, a $10 million martial arts romp set in Tang Dynasty China, at the Asian Film Market on Monday as part of a new program called Co-Productions PRO, aimed at giving filmmakers opportunities to promote a variety of new co-production projects.

The director said that the film's script was still a work in progress, but that he wanted to take advantage of the Co-Production PRO section to raise interest in the movie.

"The Assassin" is the story of a young female assassin in turbulent eighth century China who realizes that killing is wrong but, when she tries to leave her profession, her superior ends up feeling betrayed and vengeful.

Shu Qi is slated to star as the assassin Nie Yin-niang, and Chang Chen as the government official she betrays.

Hou said that the film has secured $3 million from CMC and another $2.5 million from various sources.