Media Asia has lined up hot Hong Kong director Jingle Ma to direct its $40m Jackie Chan vehicle Titanium Rain.

The futuristic action title is set in China, the US and Japan and is being scripted in both English and Mandarin. Production is scheduled to start next March for release during Chinese New Year (February) 2004.

"We've had lots of offers but decided not to take any equity partners in the project," said Media Asia head of sales and distribution Jeffrey Chan. "We'll start selling once the script is finished and we've nailed down further elements of the cast."

Ma directed two of Hong Kong's top five local box office winners in 2000 - action film Tokyo Raiders and Summer Holiday, a romantic comedy starring Richie Ren and Sammi Cheng. His most recent credits include Golden Harvest musical Para Para Sakura and gangster film Goodbye Mr Cool.

Chan, who is currently working on Spyglass Entertainment's Shanghai Knights, recently added a remake of Around The World In Eighty Days to his busy schedule. Frank Coraci is attached to direct the project which could start shooting this autumn.

Media Asia's production slate also includes action picture Naked Weapon which started production in the Philippines last week. Hot action choreographer Ching Siu-Tung is directing with Daniel Wu and Maggie Q heading the cast.