Hong Kong’s Media Asia Films has boarded Andrew Lau’s The Guillotines as co-producer alongside Peter Ho-sun Chan’s We Pictures. The film started shooting this week in China’s Shanxi province.

Also on board as investors in the $15m film are China’s Dingsheng Cultural Industry Investment Co and Taiwan’s Polyface Films Co, which join previously announced backer Beijing-based Stellar Mega Films.

Media Asia will handle sales in Asia (excluding China), while Chan’s sales outfit We Distribution will handle the rest of the world.

The film follows a covert assassination squad that carries out secret missions for the Emperor, using the deadly flying guillotine as a weapon. The cast is headed by hot Asian quartet Huang Xiaoming (The Message), Ethan Juan (Monga), Shawn Yue (Reign Of Assassins) and Boran Jing (Hot Summer Days).

It was announced at the Shanghai International Film Festival in June that Lau would replace Teddy Chen as director on the film.

The crew also includes action choreographer Lee Tat-chiu and costume designer Dora Ng, who also previously worked on We Pictures’ Bodyguards And Assassins. We Pictures’ Wu Xia, which Chan directed as well as produced, premiered at Cannes this year.