Gordon Chan has replaced Wilson Yip and Andy Chin as director on the $15m mythical thriller Painted Skin, which has started shooting in Beijing.

Donnie Yen, Zhou Xun and Vicky Zhao Wei head the cast of the film which also stars Chen Kun, Sun Li and Singapore star Qi Yuwu (The Home Song Stories).

As announced at the Shanghai International Film Festival in June, the film is jointly financed by a group of companies headed by China's Ningxia Film Studio, Singapore's MediaCorp Raintree Pictures and Hong Kong's Salon Media Management.

Other investors include Beijing-based Time Antaeus, Shanghai Film Group, Beijing New Film Association and Beijing Ding Long Da Media Ltd. Two other investors have also recently boarded the production: Hong Kong's Golden Sun and Beijing Century Jiaying Culture Ltd.

Pang Hong from Ningxia Film Studio will serve as producer. Taiwan-based veteran producer Hsu Li-kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) has also been recruited to serve as artistic director of the film.

The film is a remake of a 1965 Hong Kong production of the same title, which tells the story of a scholar's love affair with a beautiful woman who turns out to be a bloodthirsty demoness. She devours the skins and hearts of men in order to maintain immortal beauty.

Shooting will mainly take place in Beijing and Ningxia for both outdoor and studio scenes. The production is scheduled to wrap in Feb 2008 and release is tentatively scheduled for Oct 2008. According to Salon Media Management's John Sim, Salon will handle the international sales of the film.