Chinese movie legend ZhangYimou, in Toronto to promote his latest martial arts spectacle House OfFlying Daggers, is returning to morepersonal drama for his next film which will be a starring vehicle for Japanesefilm veteran Ken Takakura.

Takakura, the 75 year-oldactor famous as the "Japanese Clint Eastwood", is well-known to westernaudiences from starring roles in English-language movies The Yakuza, MrBaseball and Black Rain. His recent credits include 47 Ronin, Hotaru and Railroad Man.

"The story is 10% set inJapan and 90% set in China," Zhang told Screen yesterday. "It's about aJapanese man who comes to China. I have been wanting to work with [Takakura]for the last five years, so I am happy to be working with him finally."

The title of the movie is asyet undecided, and Zhang said he was still working on the screenplay which willshoot from Nov to Feb. "I hope to make better martial arts films in the futurebut this film is more a discovery of human emotions. It's a new, refreshingtheme for me."

Zhang's martial arts epic Hero was nominated for a best foreign language AcademyAward and grossed well in excess of $100m before it opened in North Americathree weekends ago through Miramax Films. Its current domestic gross is astaggering $41.3m as of yesterday, making it one of the top five biggestforeign language films of all time in the domestic market. House Of FlyingDaggers opens through Sony PicturesClassics on Dec 3.