Avatar virtual camera operator Anthony Arendt has also joined the $100m 3D epic as a consultant.

Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Centurion) and Avatar virtual camera operator Anthony Arendt have joined the production team of China-US co-production Empires of the Deep, which is currently shooting in Beijing. Co-produced and co-financed by LA based E-Magine Studio and Beijing’s Fontelysee Pictures, the $100m English-language film is a fantasy adventure shot in 3D.

Marked as the biggest 3D film currently in production in China, the film is co-directed by Michael French (Heart of a Dragon) and Jonathan Lawrence (The Family Mancuso, Dream Parlor) and scripted by Frank Randall and Jon Jiang, with Harrison Liang and Jon Jiang producing.

Set in ancient Greece, Empires tells about a young man’s adventure in the undersea mermaid kingdom in order to save his father, while encountering ferocious sea monsters and gets involved in large-scale battles in the seabed between mermaids, monsters and demons.

Arendt, who served as virtual camera operator beside James Cameron, serves as stereography consultant for Empires and works on-site with Michael French and director of photography Rao Xiaobing on 3D stereography.

Kurylenko stars as the Queen of the Mermaid Empire and plays opposite leading actor Steve Polites and Chinese actress Yanfei Shi.

The production team of the film is currently using 15 sound stages in Beijing’s Huairou Movie & TV Industry Zone, a studio complex of state-owned China Film Group. Prior to the shooting in Beijing, Fontelysee Pictures have prepared CGI works of the film starting late 2008, and has so far created more than 1,000 CGI images and over 20 CGI underwater creatures and monsters. Australian Soundfirm, is attached to handle all the sound works in post-production

Shooting of the film will finish in June and is scheduled to be released in summer 2011. E-Magine Studio handles international sales of the film.