Jonathan Rhys Meyers will star as the eponymous hero of Omega Entertainment/Baldwin Entertainment Group's (BEG) adventure film Mandrake, which Chuck Russell will direct.

The film is the first from Omega and BEG's first-look deal to go into production and will shoot in China and the US in early 2008. Omega is financing and distributing worldwide, and producing with BEG and Hyde Park Entertainment.

Mandrake is an updated take on the classic Hearst comic book, featuring the title character as an extreme escape artist thrown into the high stakes world of international espionage.

'One of the most exciting things for me as a director is when I know I have a star who will make an indelible impression on a role, and become the catalyst for an entire film,' Russell said.

'This is a rare opportunity to reinvent one of the all-time classic comic book characters and create a new kind of hero for international audiences.'

Markus Barmettler and Enrique Steiger formed Omega Entertainment in 2006. Former Lakeshore president of international distribution Peter Rogers joined earlier this year as president.

BEG's credits include Death Sentence, Ray, Sahara, and Swimming Upstream. Upcoming productions include Vadim Pearlman's adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged to star Angelina Jolie, a baseball drama to star Robert Redford, and Deepa Mehta's drama Luna.