'Painted' stars Donnie Yen, Zhou Xun

HONG KONG – Shooting has got underway on “Painted Skin,” a big-budget thriller starring Donnie Yen and Zhou Xun (“The Banquet”).

Pic is something of a rarity in China, a supernatural thriller, albeit one that is a remake of a 1965 Hong Kong movie of the same title. Story involves a vampire-like woman who eats the skins and hearts of her lovers.

“Skin” was unveiled in June (Variety, June 20, 2007), but since then budget has climbed from $10 million to $15 million and Gordon Chan has replaced co-helmers Wilson Yip Wai-shun and Andy Chin Wing-keung in the director’s chair. Tung Wai takes the action choreography role.

Other cast include Chen Kun, Zhao Wei, Sun Li and Singapore’s Qi Yu Wu.

Pic is set as a multinational co-production involving Ningxia Film Studio, Shanghai Film Group, Beijing Ding Long Da Media and Beijing Time Entertainment from China, MediaCorp Raintree Pictures from Singapore and Salon Films and Golden Sun Films from Hong Kong. Pic will be handled in int’l territories by Salon, best known as facilities and finance outfit (Variety, July 5, 2007.)

Lensing will continue till February and release is skedded for Christmas 2008.

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