Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Zhang Ziyi is to star in a film version of Mulan.
Jan de Bont, director of Speed, Twister and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, has signed up to direct the independently-produced, English-language movie adaptation of the classic tale of Hua Mulan, the legendary young heroine soldier who joins an all-male army, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
John Blickstead is writing the screenplay for the new film production of the Chinese Joan of Arc story that was first told in a sixth-century poem.
The story was popularised around the world in the 1998 Walt Disney animated film of the same name, but a Disney spokeswoman has denied Chinese press reports that the Hollywood studio would be backing the new Mulan, contributing 100 million dollars to the production.
Executive producer Jeffrey Chan of Bona International said: "We're absolutely thrilled to be able to work with Jan and Ziyi to turn the Chinese legend of Mulan into a top-notch live-action movie for a worldwide audience."
Zhang is one of China's biggest actresses and is known in the West for her starring roles in the Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, the Palme d'Or-nominated 2046, and the Oscar-nominated film Hero, the largest-grossing Chinese film export of all time.
Mulan is due to begin filming outside Shanghai shortly.