Arclight Films’ Asian division Easternlight is partnering with Hong Kong’s Visualizer Film Productions and the Shanghai Film Group to co-produce $20m martial arts action title 14 Blades.

Scheduled to start shooting in China on May 16, the film will be directed by Daniel Lee and star Donnie Yen and Vicky Zhao Wei. Visualizer’s Susanna Tsang is producing.

Scripted by Lee and Abe Kwong, the story is set six hundred years ago and revolves around a Chinese intelligence agency which trains street orphans to become special agents who are licensed to kill.

Tsang says the film is based on historical fact and describes it as “the first James Bond film from China”.

The project also marks the third collaboration between Easternlight and Visualizer following Dragon Squad andThree Kingdoms – Resurrection Of The Dragon, both of which were also directed by Lee.

Easternlight managing director Ying Ye is launching sales on the project at Cannes. The company has worldwide rights excluding China, Singapore and Malaysia