Anthony LaMolinara has been brought on board to direct Bubblegum Crisis – Knight Sabers, a Canada-Asian co-production which will be shot in 3D at China’s Hengdian World Studios from May next year.

Based on the popular Japanese anime TV series, the film has been approved by the Chinese authorities as a co-production project, which enables it to bypass China’s import quotas when it’s released in 2013.

Co-producers on the film include Singapore-based Cubix International, which is an affiliate of Axxis International, Canada’s Wizzfilms, Tokyo-based Anime International Company (AIC) and Shanghai Chuang Ying Marketing Planning.

The visual effects production will be handled by Montreal-based Mokko Studio in conjunction with newly established subsidiaries – Mokko-Shanghai and Mokko-Singapore. Mokko’s credits include CGI animation and visual effects for Journey To The Center Of The Earth, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and Silent Hill.

LaMolinara, who was previously an animation director at Twentieth Century Fox Digital Effects and Walt Disney, won a visual effects Oscar for Spider-Man 2 in 2005.

Bubblegum Crisis was first announced at Cannes in 2009 as a six-way co-production involving Arclight Films, Singapore’s Axxis International, Wizzfilms, AIC, China’s Infotainment and the UK’s Latec International.