John Woo (Face/Off) is set to direct a remake of Manhunt, based on a novel by Japanese writer Juko Nishimura, for Hong Kong-based Media Asia Films. The story follows a prosecutor framed for rape, murder and robbery who sets out to clear his name.

The book was previously adapted for the screen in 1976 by Japanese director Junya Sato, and starring Ken Takakura (The Yakuza) as the prosecutor. Takakura passed away last November at the age of 83. Manhunt is notable in China for being the first foreign film to be released in the country in 1978 following the end of the country’s ‘Cultural Revolution,’ earning itself a special place in Chinese audience’s affections.

Filming will begin this year once Woo completes work on the two-part epic The Crossing, set in the midst of the Chinese Revolution in the 1940’s as couples flee to the island of Taiwan.

Media Asia will handle sales on the project.

“When I found out that John was a huge fan of the late Ken Takakura, I immediately gave him a call, trying to convince him to direct the film for us,” said Media Asia chairman Peter Lam.

“By chance I was mourning the loss of Takakura when Peter called and I accepted the challenge in a heartbeat,” added Woo in a statement.