Veteran Hong Kong filmmaker Ng See Yuen has stepped in todirect mainland Chinese production The Barber following the death ofShanghai-based director Chen Yifei.

Thefilm, which is backed by Century Hero Film Investment Co and the China FilmGroup, has had a troubled production history. It started shooting in 2002 withChen at the helm and Jiang Wen in a lead role but was shut down in early 2003following disputes between the principals.

Production only started again this February with Chen Kunand actress Zeng Li in the lead roles. Set in the 1920s, the film is basedaround a love triangle involving a barber, the young woman he falls in lovewith and the KMT officer that she marries.

Chen, who died on April 10 aged 59 of a gastric haemorrhage,was an internationally acclaimed painter who also owned a business empirespanning magazines, fashion brands and a restaurant. He directed his firstfeature, romantic drama Meeting In The Dark, in 1996.

Ng, a former Shaw Brothers executive, has focused on producingin recent years. He is also head of the Federation of Hong Kong Film Workers.