Tsui Hark Lights “Phantom Flame”

Tsui Hark (“Once Upon a Time in China,” “Zu Warriors”) will direct Andy Lau in the $13 million period martial arts suspense thriller “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame” for Huayi Brothers says The Hollywood Reporter.

Chen Kuofu’s script is set during the Tang Dynasty in 690 A.D. around the time of the inauguration of Empress Wu, China’s only female leader.

When mysterious deaths of a series of loyal subjects threaten to delay the ceremony, 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.

Though the case is fiction made for the film, Dee was a real figure (more of a judge than a detective). Casting for the other roles is still underway.

Shooting gets underway Hong Kong, Beijing, Hangzhou and Henan beginning in May for a release in the Summer of 2010.