Jean-Claude Van Damme is to star in The Monk, an actioner to be shot in China, Bulgaria and New York and directed by Ringo Lam (City On Fire). The film marks Van Damme's third venture with Avi Lerner's Millenium Films after The Order and Replicant; Lerner, Danny Dimbort and Danny Lerner are producing.

The Monk will start shooting on Nov 1 this year with a budget of $25m. Van Damme plays a Shaolin monk who embarks on a journey to America in search of his father and finds himself battling an evil crime boss.

The Order will be distributed domesticallly by Sony Pictures Entertainment while Artisan Entertainment will handle Replicant. Van Damme will be in Cannes to promote all three films.