LONDON – Goldcrest Films Intl., the London-based sales and financing company, has confirmed its commitment to the Chinese-American movie project “The Battle of Ono,” despite the death Jan. 14 of director King Hu.

King Hu had been working on the project since the 1970s, and was finally on course to shoot it next year when he died.

The $15 million pic is in development with Sanford-Pillsbury Prods. (“How to Make an American Quilt”). Director John Woo and his producer Terence Chang are attached as exec producers. Goldcrest came on board in the past couple of months to handle international sales.

Pillsbury told Daily Variety her company was committed to bringing the project to the screen, despite Hu’s death. “It’s what he would have wanted,” she said.

In an interview with a Hong Kong newspaper, John Woo said that he is looking for a replacement director, but if he cannot find a suitable candidate he will take on the job himself.

“The Battle of Ono” is described as an unconventional action thriller, about a young Chinese radical in the 1870s who escapes to California, where he works as a coolie on the railroads, bringing him into conflict with the evil railroad boss. The script is by David Henry Hwang and Gary Tiesche.

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