4 January 2009 6:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Bangkok -- Tsui Hark will direct Andy Lau in the period martial arts suspense thriller "Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame" in Hong Kong and China beginning in May, production company Huayi Brothers said.

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.

"They had such an interesting relationship of hatred, love and passion," said Tsui, who is focused on finding the perfect empress to play opposite Lau ("Infernal »


- By Jonathan Landreth

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