Woo to direct Yeoh in action pic 'Sword'

'Tiger' star returns to action after more dramatic turns

SHANGHAI -- Former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh said Sunday that she will star in an upcoming kung fu movie directed by John Woo, adding that she's not avoiding action movies despite a recent break from the genre.

The "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" actress told a press conference at the 12th Shanghai International Film Festival that the Chinese-language film will start shooting in China in September.

She said Woo will share directing duties on the film -- tentatively called "The Sword and the Martial Arts World" -- with Taiwanese filmmaker Su Chao-pin, who directed the horror film "Silk."

She declined to give further details.

Yeoh is a former beauty queen who first made her name as an action star in Hong Kong. Her recent roles in "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005) and "Far North" (2007) have veered toward drama, but the 46-year-old actress said she still feels fit enough to handle action.

"I have felt physically stronger the past few years. I don't let age limit me," Yeoh said, adding she chose her recent projects because she enjoyed the stories -- not because they were less physically taxing.

The film with Yeoh is Woo's first new project since his $80 million two-part historical epic "Red Cliff." The Hong Kong native was supposed to next direct "1949" -- an epic romance set against the Chinese civil war in that year -- but the project fell through because of a dispute with its Taiwanese investors.