Michelangelo Antonioni, the ailing 89-year-old director of Blow Up and Beyond The Clouds, is set to return to the film set after six years to direct one segment of a three-part feature film. Wong Kar-wai and Pedro Almodovar are attached to direct the other two parts of the movie, a low-budget erotic drama, leading Italian daily La Repubblica said.

The movie, entitled Eros, will feature unknown actors playing the parts of two women who have in the past both loved the same man and finally meet up. "It will be a small film with high erotic tension, to be made with little money, unknown actors and no complications. Exactly what Michelangelo needed," the newspaper quoted Antonioni's wife Enrica as saying. "He will finally be able to happily cast aside his anxieties about going back to making a film," she said.

Enrica Antonioni, who will assist her husband on the film set, said she didn't know exact details about the sequences that will be shot by Wong Kar Wai (In The Mood For Love) and Almodovar (All About My Mother), although she did say the Spanish director would like to set his film in India.

Antonioni is set to start shooting his segment in and around Capalbio, in Tuscany, before the end of October "so that he can draw on the late summer light," his wife said. The visual-heavy sequence, scripted by Tonino Guerra (Beyond The Clouds), will be shot partly in film and partly in digital video.

Produced by France's Stephane Tchalgadjeff, who co-produced 1995's Beyond The Clouds, the film was originally set to feature actress Nastassja Kinski. But Mrs Antonioni said the actress had pulled out after the September 11 terrorist attacks, when, like a number of US actors, she had canceled plans to fly to Europe. "The film was insured by a company that had its offices in the World Trade Center. Michelangelo and I must have watched the images on TV eight or ten times to understand what was truly happening," she said.

In 1995, Antonioni, who has been partially paralyzed since suffering a stroke, won an Academy Award for his lifetime achievement in film. His critically-acclaimed last film, Beyond The Clouds, marked his return to the set after an absence of ten years, and told four stories in Italian, English and French.