Hong Kong's Celestial Pictures has pulled out of co-producing action title Naked Weapon with East Asia Entertainment, a division of eSun Holdings which owns Media Asia Group.

The English-language film, loosely based on producer Wong Jing's 1992 tongue-in-cheek action comedy Naked Killer, was initially developed by East Asia with Wong on board as producer. Celestial became involved when Wong was appointed by the company to oversee production.

"Both parties wanted to own the film completely, but after discussions we decided to let this one go and focus our resources on something else," said Wong who will continue to act as producer on the film.

Pay-TV rights were understood to be a sticking point on the film. Media Asia has an output deal with Star TV, while Celestial is gearing up to launch its own movie channel this autumn.

Media Asia is now handling all international rights on the film which it sold jointly with Celestial at Cannes.

Naked Weapon started production in the Philippines on June 17 and moved to Hong Kong last week where it will continue shooting until late August. Acclaimed action choreographer Ching Siu-Tung is directing with Daniel Wu and Maggie Q heading the cast. Chinese martial arts champion Lee Fei and model Anya also star.