The Weinstein Company (TWC) has acquired North American and South African rights to upcoming martial arts blockbuster Reign Of Assassins, produced by John Woo and starring Michelle Yeoh.

Fortissimo Films is handling international sales on the film which is currently in post-production and will be released in China later this year. TWC is considering releasing the film simultaneously in North America and South Africa.

Woo and Terence Chang are producing the film through their Lion Rock Production with Beijing-based Galloping Horse Film and TV Production and Hong Kong’s Media Asia. Woo also co-directed with Taiwan’s Su Chao-pin, whose credits include supernatural thriller Silk and comedy Better Than Sex.

Yeoh stars as a skilled assassin who falls in love with the son of a man who was killed by her gang. Korean actor Jung Woo-sung (The Restless), Chinese actor Wang Xueqi (Forever Enthralled) and actresses Kelly Lin (After This Our Exile) and Barbie Hsu (Silk) also star.

The deal was negotiated by Michael J. Werner and Winnie Lau for Fortissimo and Peter Lawson and Michal Podell Steinberg for The Weinstein Company. Fortissimo secured the rights to Reign Of Assassins outside China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South East Asia in October 2009.

Commenting on the deal, Werner said: “Bob and Harvey have a long and illustrious track record of handling compelling and commercial cinema from Asia. We are thrilled that this great project resonated with them and we look forward to working with them and their team in the months ahead to position Reign Of Assassins for commercial and critical success in their territories.”

Harvey Weinstein said: “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.  It was a pleasure working with the team at Fortissimo Films and I look forward to working together in bringing this film to audiences around the world.”

Woo is heading the jury of the Shanghai International Film Festival, which kicks off this weekend, and will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year’s Venice Film Festival.