Los Angeles: Chinese actress Li Bingbing, who is carving out a Hollywood career, is to slated to star in "Nest", an English-language sci-fi action film being directed by Kimble Rendall.
Bingbing will also be a producer on the Chinese-Australian co-production, which is being represented by Darclight, the genre films offshoot of Sydney and Los Angeles-based Arclight Films, reports variety.com.
Rendall, a noted action director ("Matrix: Reloaded," "Matrix: Revolutions"), made his directorial debut three years ago with "Bait 3D", which was similarly a Chinese-Australian joint venture.
The film's story involves a team of scientists who, while making the discovery of the century, lose a colleague in an ancient labyrinth. The group must battle their way through a swarm of deadly, man-eating funnel web spiders and discover the secret behind the insects' power and unusual intelligence.
"With a mesmerizing story, the brilliance of director Kimble Rendall, the breath-taking talent of Li Bingbing and an A-list special effects team, 'Nest' is perfectly positioned to be a major commercial success with thrill-seeking audiences all over the world," said Ye, producer, and managing director of Easternlight.
"Nest" is understood to be the largest Chinese-Australian co-production to date, and has scored finance from federal funding body Screen Australia and from state film support agency Screen Queensland.
Pre-production ahead of a shoot in 3D is under way in Australia's Gold Coast and Darclight is pitching the film to distributors at the Toronto International Film Festival.