Tsui’s wife, producer Nansun Shi, told The Associated Press in an e-mail that Li will star alongside China’s Zhou Xun and Chen Kun and Taiwan’s Kwai Lun-mei and Mavis Fan in the $35 million production scheduled for release in December 2011.
She said the story is inspired by Tsui’s 1992 martial arts film “Dragon Inn,” which revolves around the face-off between imperial agents and a warrior couple in a desert inn.
China’s Sina.com news website reported earlier the Hong Kong filmmaker started shooting on Sunday.
The project marks Tsui’s reunion with Li after the “Once Upon a Time in China” kung fu franchise in the 1990s. Li then moved onto a career in Hollywood. His most recent credits include “The Expendables” and the Chinese-language drama “Ocean Heaven.”