Huayi Bros' president Wang Zhonglei announced the slate during his visit to the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Chen Kuo-fu's Twilight, a drama about communist secret agents' espionage war against the puppet government of Japanese-occupied China, will be the first to start shooting.
The story is based on a popular novel of the same title by Chengdu-based author Mai Jia. Chen, who also serves as the head of productions at Huayi Brothers, will direct the $10m film and co-write the script with Zhang Jialu, scriptwriter of Huayi's 2007 thriller Matrimony. Shooting will start in December this year.
Judge D (working title), which was announced last year in Pusan, has commenced pre-production work and is scheduled to start shooting in May 2009. Tsui Hark will direct the $20m drama which is based on the story of legendary magistrate Di Renjie in the Tang Dynasty, who is known for solving mysterious crime cases. Andy Lau will star in the film as Di Renjie. Chen and Zhang Jialu will co-write the script with Tsui.
Huayi also plans to work with Singapore director Jack Neo on a film about Chinese children under pressure to enter prestigious schools. The film will have similar elements to Neo's popular Singapore movie I Not Stupid. 'But the film will be a different story and will be entirely set in China,' said Felice Bee, international sales chief of Huayi Bros. Neo will write and direct the untitled Chinese film. Shooting is scheduled to start in March 2009.
In addition, Huayi's long-term filmmaking partner Feng Xiaogang is preparing for a human interest drama, tentatively titled Aftershock. The plot is based on a true story about a woman who miraculously survived in the 1976 Tangshan earthquake but could not come to terms with a traumatic past until she witnessed the 2008 May 12 earthquake in Sichuan.
Huayi plans to budget the film at $25m because of the large amount of special effects work needed to depict the earthquake and rescue work, according to Bee.
Feng just wrapped the $7.3m romance drama If You Are My Match starring Ge You and Shu Qi. The film is set to open in China during the Xmas season on Dec 22, which is a regular time slot for Feng's movies in China.