Taiwaneseand a New Zealand companies haveset up a joint venture to produce a $69m English-language feature based on aChinese myth and set for release during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Lady White Snake has been written by Chinese musician Hou Dejian, owner of Taipei-basedEquinox Film. He is working with USwriter/director Patrick Reed Johnston.

The otherpartner in the joint venture - which avowedly sets out to unite Eastern andWestern culture - is Auckland-based Digitimij, thefilm development and production arm of Australian visual effects company PhotonVFX.

Lady White Snake is currently scheduled to go into productionfrom October 2006.

Most of thebudget is sourced from Taiwanand the sales and distribution rights are currently under negotiation.

Expect adramatic martial arts action film laden with romance and sumptuous classicalChinese imagery, said Photon VFX head Dale Duguid,who is producing alongside Dejian.

"It will belive action, yes, but we plan to hit it with the Peter Jackson stick," Duguid told Screendaily, areference to the amount of special effects that will be involved.

Johnston wrote thestory of and was executive producer on the action fantasy adventure Dragonheart.

Equinoxeoriginally developed the project with New Zealand company Silver Screen.

Seniormembers of the Taiwanand New Zealand Governments were involved today during the signing ofdocuments.