Fortissimo Films has picked up international rights to martial arts thriller Jianyu Jianghu (working title), starring Michelle Yeoh and produced by John Woo and Terence Chang’s Lion Rock Productions.

Taiwanese filmmaker Su Chao-pin (Double Vision) is directing the $12m film which starts shooting at the end of this month in Shanghai. Lion Rock is co-producing with Beijing Galloping Horse Productions, Hong Kong’s Media Asia and two as-yet-unnamed Taiwanese companies.

Yeoh will play a female assassin who retires after killing a monk she had fallen in love with, and marries an ordinary postman, hoping to lead a peaceful family life. But as the postman is actually the son of an official she might have killed, the past soon returns to haunt her.

Also set to star are Korean heartthrob Jung Woo-song (The Good, The Bad, The Weird), Chinese actor Wang Xueqi (Forever Enthralled), Hong Kong’s Shawn Yue and Kelly Lin and Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu. Behind-the-scenes talent includes DoP Arthur Wong and production designer Yang Beigui.

After shooting in Shanghai, production will move to nearby Hengdian World Studios and then across to Taiwan. Release is tentatively scheduled for late summer 2010.

Fortissimo and Lion Rock were originally planning to work together on John Woo’s historical epic 1949, but the project fell apart earlier this year due a dispute over script rights.