Weinstein Co. picks up 'Reign of Assassins'

Michelle Yeoh stars in martial arts epic

SHANGHAI -- The Weinstein Co. on Friday bought from Fortissimo Films the North American rights to the forthcoming martial arts epic "Reign of Assassins," starring Michelle Yeoh and co-directed by Su Chao-pin ("Silk") and producer John Woo.

The deal -- announced on the eve of the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival, which runs through June 20 and where Woo is head of the jury -- also includes South African rights.

"I am thrilled to be back in business with Michelle Yeoh and am very excited to be working with John Woo on another one of his brilliant films," Harvey Weinstein said of the deal.

The film also stars Jung Woo-sung ("The Warrior"), Kelly Lin ("After This Our Exile") Barbie Hsu ("Silk") and Wang Xueqi ("Forever Enthralled").

"Reign" was produced by Woo and his long-time business partner Terence Chang through their L.A.-based outfit Lion Rock Prods., together with Beijing-based Galloping Horse Film and TV Prods, and Hong Kong-based Media Asia.

In the Ming Dynasty action thriller, Yeoh plays a skilled assassin who falls in love with the son of a man who was killed by her gang.

"Reign" is expected to be released in China later this year, and TWC is considering coinciding releases in North American and South Africa, the company said.