Canadian stuntman Nick Powell is making his directorial debut with the project, and he was joined by Hayden in Beijing for the official launch, as they announced plans to make the film with a mostly Chinese cast and crew.
Nick told The Hollywood Reporter he plans to bring "just a few people" from Canada for the shoot, and the crew will be "90 per cent" Chinese. He has already met with local production and costume designers, as well as local actors.
Location scouting has already begun in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan and filming will begin in April
Hayden will play a 12th-century warrior who tries to redeem himself by saving a princess in the war/romance epic. It is not yet known what Nicolas' role will be.
Nick said of the story: "It was originally a genre film - but I was interested in the idea of a knight in China, so I had it rewritten to make it more than just a genre film. I want to make something more dramatic than just an action movie."
"I'm starting to set up a production company in China because there is unlimited potential here," he added.
Chinese co-producers for the film, made in English, announced plans to release it in China and the US on the same day.