Korea’s CJ Entertainment has announced a deal with China Film Group (CFG) and Pegasus & Taihe Entertainment on sci-fi fantasy project The Fist.

CJ signed a letter of intent with the two mainland China entities for investment, co-production and China distribution of The Fist.

Pegasus & Taihe Entertainment and CFG will invest 30% or more of the estimated $20m production costs and aim for a wide release in mainland China when the film is completed.

CJ has been running the Chinese Film Festival in Korea in cooperation with the Korean Film Council and China’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) since 2006. This year’s edition is currently underway, running from June 16-20.

The Korean company also signed an MOU in 2007 with CFG on discovering and cultivating new Chinese directors.

Most recently, CJ has seen $30m generated at the Chinese box office with Korea-China co-production A Wedding Invitation, directed by Korean filmmaker Oh Ki-hwan with a partially Korean crew on location in China.

The Fist is to be directed by Park Kwang-hyun, whose Welcome To Dongmakgol clocked up 8 million admissions in 2005.

Taking place in a future urban landscape, The Fist revolves around a man fighting to save his community from forces set to destroy it.

CJ says the film will combine fantasy, futuristic engineering elements, martial arts and a hero (called “the Fist”) who is filled with a chivalrous spirit with which the audience will be able to identify.

CJ’s local rival Showbox/Mediaplex is also currently in post-production with $25m 3D baseball-playing gorilla film Mr. Go, which got a 25% investment from China’s Huayi Brothers. The equity deal also included mainland China distribution.