South Korean director Choi Dong-hoon is putting together a top flight cast for his upcoming The Professionals, led by Kim Yun-seok from The Yellow Sea, Gianna Jun from Blood The Last Vampire, Kim Hye-su from Tazza: The High Rollers and Lee Jung-jae from TheHousemaid.

Formerly known as The Thieves, the film is about a band of Korea’s five best thieves, consisting of con artists, safecrackers and acrobats, who receive an irresistible offer from their ex-boss Macao Park. They are to steal a $20m blue diamond known as ‘Tear of the Sun’ hidden in a casino in Macau. When they get there, they work side by side with four of the best thieves from Hong Kong.

Casting for Chinese characters is currently underway.

Investor/distributor Showbox Mediaplex sees The Professionals as another potential blockbuster from hitmaker Choi Dong-hoon - with major Korean and Chinese stars.

The film is produced by Ahn Soo-hyun’s Caper Film. Ahn’s credits include Thirst and You Are My Sunshine.

The multi-lingual film, dubbed ‘the Asian Ocean’s Eleven’, will start production this May in Macao, Hong Kong and Korea. The tentative delivery date is December 2011.