Hong Kong’s Peter Ho-sun Chan is set to start shooting $20m action thriller Wu Xia, starring Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Chinese actress Tang Wei.

Produced and financed by Chan’s We Pictures, the project marks Chan’s first film as director since the 2007 war epic The Warlords and the first time that leading Asian stars Yen (Bodyguards And Assassins) and Kaneshiro (The Warlords) have appeared in a film together.

The film will start shooting at the end of August in the high altitude landscapes of Tengchong in China’s Yunnan province.

Yen plays a killer who has repented of his deeds and is taking refuge in a remote village, while Kaneshiro plays a detective who is trying to track him down.

Behind-the-scenes talent includes Oscar-nominated production designer Yee Chung Man (Curse Of The Golden Flower), costume designer Dora Ng (Bodyguards And Assassins) and DoP Jake Pollock (The Message). Yen will also be the action choreographer on the film.

Chan says he aims to rejuvenate the martial arts genre with the project. “It’s been ten years since the only great martial arts film like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon came along, which is why I want to give this genre a reboot.

“I want to demonstrate the physicality and lethality of martial arts by injecting medical and scientific elements into action choreography, and I know I wouldn’t have done it without a partner like Donnie Yen, who I think is the best action director in the world today.”

The film is scheduled for wide release in the second half of 2011. World sales will be handled by Chan’s sales outfit We Distribution.