Hong Kong action director Kirk Wong has committed to develop and direct Iron Fist, the film of Marvel Enterprises' comic book which is the first to be generated by a joint venture between Artisan Entertainment and Marvel formed to create character-based programming across all media.

Ray Park will star in the title role of Iron Fist which has been scripted by John Turman. Principal photography on the film is expected to begin in late 2001 or early 2002. Artisan will handle distribution worldwide.

Iron Fist is the story of Danny Rand who, as a child, was raised in a secret temple in the Far East and, as an adult, returns to the US to seek revenge on his parents' murderer.

Wong has made one English language film before - 1998's The Big Hit for SPE with Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips and Christina Applegate. His Hong Kong credits include Crime Story (1993) with Jackie Chan as well as Rock And Roll Cop (1994), Story Of A Gun (1991) and Gunmen (1988).

Artisan executive vice president Patrick Gunn and vice president, legal & business affairs, Erin Austin, handled the negotiations for Artisan with United Talent Agency on behalf of Wong.