Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan, leading local actor Leslie Cheung and popstar-turned acting sensation Andy Lau have joined Media Asia's 2002 slate as the film concern launches a drive to raise its talent profile following a management shake-up earlier this year.

The move is being driven by leisure magnate Peter Lam, who this year became a director of the company instead of just a silent investor. Bringing further clout to the company, Chan is poised to become a full board member of the company in the coming months.

The Hong Kong superstar has also committed to headline a Media Asia picture that shoots in September 2002. Chan will choose between two pre-approved scripts in December.

Also in the works is a big-budget adaptation of a Japanese auto-racing comic strip. "This is the biggest comic book deal ever in Hong Kong," said Peter Poon, Media Asia's general manager.

More immediately, Media Asia is setting up The Unicorn Hunt, a light-hearted action vehicle which will be predominantly filmed in English. Cheung, star of Double Tap, Happy Together and Farewell My Concubine, is headlining the $6.5m picture, which is written and directed by the acclaimed Li Chi Ngai and scheduled for production in December.