Hong Kong's Universe Films Distribution has scored a string of pre-sales on the Pang Brothers' The Stormriders II, starring Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng, which was unveiled a press conference at Filmart yesterday.

The $12m martial arts project has been snapped up by Chengtian/Golden Harvest, which has acquired rights for mainland China, Thailand's Mono Film, Indonesia's PT Teguh Bakti Mandiri and Scorpio East for Singapore.

The all-rights deal for Thailand represents Mono's first acquisition and is part of the company's plans to expand itself into an entertainment company with production, distribution and home video activities. It is still in talks for several Hong Kong titles at Filmart and is also active here as a seller (see separate story).

The Stormriders II, a sequel to Andrew Lau's 1998 martial arts fantasy The Storm Riders, is scheduled to start shooting in March 2008 for tentative delivery in October 2009.

The lengthy post-production period is necessary due to the extensive CGI that the film requires. Special effects will be handled by Ng Yuen-fai of Hong Kong's Fat Face who won best visual effects at the Asian Film Awards this week.

Kwok and Cheng are reprising their roles in the film, which also stars Nicolas Tse and Charlene Choi.