Harvey and Bob Weinstein are in negotiations with Chinesesuperstar Zhang Ziyi to star in three pictures.

It is understood the deal includes a live-action version of Mulanand a remake of AkiraKurosawa's 1954 action classic The Seven Samurai. The third project remained unknown attime of writing.

The brothers are likely to seek local partners in at least one ofthe productions, and start dates are being finalised.

Mulan is one of the first productions from Shanghai-based Meridian Pictures founded by textiles tycoon David Dong. The $20m picture is scripted by Wang Hui-ling whose credits including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and John Woo's upcoming Battle Of Red Cliff.

The project appears tailor-made for Ziyi, based as it is on a Chinese folk tale about a girl whodisguises herself as a man to honour her father in battle. The story'smythological status means film rights remain in the public domain.

The Weinstein Company (TWC) holds worldwide rights to The SevenSamurai, which famouslytells the story of villagers who recruit seven unemployed warriors to defendthem from a marauding gang. The story was transplanted into the Western genrein John Sturges' 1960 tale The Magnificent Seven.

It is understood thepictures will not be released under the new Dragon Dynasty label announced bythe Weinsteins in Cannes last month.