Italy's Rai Cinema isteaming up with Tarak Ben Ammar to finance Dino De Laurentiis's upcoming $38mproduction, Decameron.

Written and directed byDavid Leland, the English-language movie will start shooting in Italy inmid-July with Hayden Christensen and Mischa Barton (The O.C) in the leadroles.

"One year ago, I wokeup in the morning and thought the time had come to re-do Boccaccio," DeLaurentiis told Screen International, referring to the 14th century Italiancollection of stories about a group of unmarried nobles who wait out the 1348plague in the countryside near Florence.

Pier Paolo Pasolini directedan adaptation of the classic in 1971.

" I got down to work totry and do a different kind of Boccaccio," De Laurentiis explains."This one won't be an episodic film, because today episodic films don'twork anymore. It will be a single love story which intertwines all thecharacters that are present in the one hundred novellas that were written byBoccaccio."

Meanwhile, Rai Cinema isalso ramping up its Italian-language production slate. Projects include MarcoBellocchio's new film, Il Regista Di Matrimoni, a drama about a troubledfilm director who travels to Sicily where he meets a friend who makes a livingshooting videos at weddings. The picture, which stars Sergio Castellitto,started shooting last week and is co-produced by Bellocchio's Filmalbatros andFrench producer Andre Djaoui.

Rai Cinema's upcoming slatealso includes a comedy from prolific Italian director Pupi Avati, entitled LaSeconda Notte Di Nozze, which will star Antonio Albanese.

In addition, Rai Cinema islining up Gianni Amelio's next film, The Missing Star (La Stella Che NonC'e'), a Euros 8m picture which will shoot from May mainly in China.Co-produced by Cattleya, the film follows an Italian workman, played by SergioCastellitto, who heads out to China to visit the factory which is responsiblefor dismantling the iron plant where he worked.