Tsui Hark will direct Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs) in production company Huayi Brothers’ period martial arts suspense thriller Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame in Hong Kong and China beginning in May, says The Hollywood Reporter.
With a $13 million budget, a script by Chen Kuofu and production by Chen, Tsui’s wife and partner Nansun Shi and former Columbia and Emperor executive Peggy Lee, Tsui and Huayi will bring to life an imagined case solved by a real Tang Dynasty detective.
When the mysterious deaths of a series of loyal subjects threaten to delay the 690 A.D. inauguration of Empress Wu, China’s only female leader, she calls the infamous Detective Dee (Lau) back from an exile into which she cast him eight years earlier.
Dee accepts the challenge and partners with gung-ho Commander Bei and the Ghost Doctor, a master of disguise, to solve the crimes.
Huayi Brothers hopes to finish the film in time for a summer 2010 release in Asia.