Chinese action star, Jet Li, attends an opening of a charity event in Shanghai March 31, 2009. REUTERS/ Nir Elias

Martial arts champion and international movie star Jet Li is returning to Chinese film with a starring role in Ocean Paradise.

The project is Li's first Chinese-language film since the 2007 Peter Chan-directed epic The Warlords.

Li will star with Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun-mei, last seen in Tsui Hark's All About Women, in the directorial debut of Chinese screenwriter Xue Xiao-lu. Xue has written for director Chen Kaige, working on the script for Chen's 2002 drama Together With You.

After a duo of Hollywood-Chinese co-productions -- The Forbidden Kingdom and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor -- Li, a devout Buddhist, announced in May 2008 he would take a break from films to dedicate his time to charity work.

Since then he has played a supporting role in the Sylvester Stallone action movie The Expendables and made an appearance with other major stars of the Chinese film industry in The Great Cause of China's Foundation, a $6 million epic produced to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, scheduled for a September release.