Peter Ho-sun Chan's $10mmusical Perhaps Love startsshooting in Shanghai next month with a hot pan-Asian cast and backing frombroadcasters TVB and Astro.

A co-production between Chan'sApplause Pictures and the Ruddy Morgan Organisation (RMO), the film is directedby Chan and stars Takeshi Kaneshiro (House Of Flying Daggers) and leading Chinese actress Zhou Xun. Two other majorAsian stars will also join the cast.

Hong Kong broadcaster TVB andleading Malaysian pay-TV platform Astro are backing the film through theirjoint production venture, ART Limited. China's Stellar Megamedia, which part-ownsApplause, is also investing in the film. Astro's Hong Kong-based film and TVstudio, Celestial Pictures, is handling international sales.

Produced by Chan and RMO'sAndre Morgan, the film revolves around a director and a group of actors staginga musical in Shanghai. The story flips between the musical, set in the glamorousbut sleazy Shanghai of the 1930s, and modern-day China.

"There are two stories butthey run smoothly as one," Chan explains. "We'll also have two kinds of music -show numbers for the movie-within-a-movie but the contemporary part will havemodern pop songs."

Adding another twist, Chanhas hired renowned Bollywood choreographer Farah Khan to oversee the dancesequences. Behind-the-camera talent also includes award-winning cinematographerChris Doyle.

The Shanghai shoot isscheduled to start in April in time for a pan-Asian release in August. Theproduction has already filmed for a few weeks in January in Beijing.

Chan admits that a big-budgetChinese musical is a risky proposition - it hasn't been attempted for decades -but was convinced to direct the project when he found the right story: "It'snot an obviously commercial idea but if you really believe in a project, iteventually comes together."

Chan, whose directingcredits include Going Home and Comrades:Almost A Love Story, is also set todirect Waiting, based on Ha Jin'saward-winning novel, at the end of the year.