Apparently Chow Yun-Fat is getting philosophical in his later years…at least on film anyway.  Variety reports that the charismatic star of such films as The Killer, Hard-Boiled and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is eschewing the violent stuff for his latest film, a biopic of Confucious, the Chinese philosopher who lived over 2,500 years ago.  In a strange twist, the film, which is set to be budgeted around $2.8 million, has the backing of the Chinese government, which wasn’t known for its support of the thinker’s works back in the Chairman Mao days. 

Rather, the Chinese government once condemned the legendary figure, destroying his family ancestral home and many relics associated with him.  But Confucious is enjoying somewhat of a revival in the new modern China, which is experiencing a major revival of its own on the world economic stage.  Dadi Film Group and the state-run production entity, China Film Group, are sponsoring the project, which is set to begin shooting later this month in Hebei Province and Hengdian Studios. 

Chow is one of Asian cinema’s most bankable international stars and although it looks like Hard-Boiled follow-up appears to be moving on without him, it doesn’t seem like he’ll have too much trouble continuing to land projects.  He still has Dragonball Evolution pending as well as Mikael Hafstrom’s Shanghai and The Red Circle on the horizon.  No word yet on whether Confucious will be packing heat or not, though.