Li is due to start shooting the movie _ tentatively called "Ocean Paradise" in Chinese _ Edko Film publicist Zhang Hongyan told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday. The film, due to be released next year, will be directed by a newcomer, Zhang said, declining to give further detail before the official announcement at a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday.
Hong Kong-based Edko Film is the Chinese distributor for the movie.
The Chengdu Shangbao newspaper reported Tuesday that Li will not fight in the movie, but Zhang declined to confirm the report, only saying, "It's a movie that's very different from his previous movies."
Li's last three films were all American productions. His two most recent releases are "The Forbidden Kingdom" _ which marked his first on-screen collaboration with Jackie Chan _ and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor." The 46-year-old action star just finished shooting the action thriller "The Expendables."
A former national martial arts champion in China, Li first made his name in the Hong Kong film industry with the "Once Upon a Time in China" series before moving on to Hollywood, where his credits also include "Lethal Weapon 4," "Romeo Must Die" and "Kiss of the Dragon."