The Matrix series stuntman Tiger Hu Chen is set to star in a Chinese-language action drama Kung Fu Man, financed by China Film Group and Chinese private investor He Gang.

Vanessa Branch (Pirates Of The Caribbean series) and Chinese actress Jiang Mengjie will also star in the $2.93m (RMB20m) film.

Daxing Zhang, one of the producers on John Woo’s Red Cliff and actor and kung-fu coordinator on the Charlie’s Angels and The Matrix series, serves as producer on the film, along with Li Xiaowan of Beijing’s Rosat Films. 

Its understood that The Matrix star Keanu Reeves has also invested in the film.

Scheduled to start shooting on Oct 28, Kung Fu Man will tell a contemporary story about a martial arts practitioner, who accidentally rescues a Caucasian boy from a foreign kidnapping group, and changes the boy’s world perspective and values. Branch and Chyna McCoy (G.I. Joe) will play the villains.

Shooting locations will be mainly in Yunnan province, as well as Hainan island and Hong Kong. Ning Ying and Cheung-yan Yuen, brother of Yuen Wo-ping and stuntman for films such as Charlie’s Angels and Daredevil, will co-direct the film. Sean O’Dea (Red Sands) will serve as director of photography.

Production is scheduled to wrap at the end of this year and the release date in China will be scheduled for summer 2010.