The Storm Riders II (working title) is budgeted at $12m and scheduled to start shooting in March 2008 for tentative delivery in October 2009.
The lengthy post-production period is necessary due to the extensive CGI that the film requires. Special effects will be handled by Fat Face, the Hong Kong effects house thatdrew praise for its work on Re-cycle, and also worked on Peter Ho-sun Chan's war epic The Warlords, which is being released across Asia this weekend.
Danny and Oxide Pang made their English-language debut earlier this year with Sony's The Messengers, and also recently shot the English-language remake of their 1999 hit Bangkok Dangerous, with Nicolas Cage in the lead. However, they continue to work in Asia - Danny most recently with In Love With The Dead and Oxide with The Detective - both also for Universe.
Other talent on the Storm Riders sequel includes art director Yee Chung Man (Curse Of The Golden Flower) and action director Ma Choi Shing (Bichunmoo).
Universe is aiming to use the same main cast - Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng - as in the original film. Directed by Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs), the award-winning original was based on Ma Wing Shing's popular comic book Fung Wan, about two children who become powerful warriors under an evil warlord's tutelage.
Meanwhile, Universe has scored a pair of major European sales on Benny Chan's martial arts actioner Invisible Target following the recent AFM. EuropaCorp has taken the film for France, while Splendid has acquired rights for Germany and Benelux.
The film was previously sold to The Weinstein Company for North America and a clutch of other English-speaking territories.