After his 1988 film The Bear, Veteran French director Jean-Jacques Annaud is returning to the animal kingdom with a tale of two tigers.

The veteran filmmaker, whose recent efforts include last year's Enemy At The Gates and 1997's Seven Years In Tibet, is currently shooting Two Brothers - a tale of tiger siblings which hearkens back to Annaud's 1988 film, The Bear.

Two Brothers is the story of tiger twins who are and taken into captivity. One is trained to be a killer, the other a circus performer. Eventually, they are reunited but forced to be pitted against one another.

The film, a Franco-British co-production (Pathe-Renn Productions and Two Brothers LTD), is an ambitious project by Annaud and Jake Eberts whose credits include Dances With Wolves and Driving Miss Daisy. Although budget details are unavailable, reports put the figure at $60m.

The cast includes Guy Pearce, Jean-Claude Dreyfus and Phillipine Leroy-Beaulieu. The script is based on an original idea from Annaud and is adapted by Annaud and Alain Godard, a former collaborator on The Name Of The Rose and Enemy At The Gates.

Currently shooting in Cambodia, the film will move to Thailand and France before wrapping in mid-May. Universal Pictures has taken distribution duties in the US and Canada and will split international rights with Pathe. Pathe will distrbute Two Brothers in France, the UK, Benelux and Switzerland with Tobis handling Germany, Medusa taking Italy, Nippon Herald for Japan and TriPictures in Spain.

The film is set to be released in 2004.