Saoirse Ronan is in talks to star in a new kung fu film, inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

With two film adaptations of the classic fairytale already due out in cinemas, Disney has now reworked its martial arts take on the story, Order Of The Seven, to cut all links with the original tale, Variety reports.

The Atonement star will play the lead role of Olivia Sinclair, a British ex-pat in 19th century Hong Kong who joins forces with an ancient group of warriors - the Order of the Seven - to help them defeat an evil empress, and reclaim their destiny.

Disney apparently hopes to boost the international appeal of the film by casting well-known stars from China, Russia and Japan as the ancient warriors. Studio executives have already begun talks with local talent in those countries.

The project - which has been in development since 2002 - was originally written by Michael Chabon and called Snow And The Seven.

But following the production of E1's film version of Snow White, Mirror Mirror, starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins, and Universal's action adaptation, Snow White And The Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron, Disney have reworked the movie.

The latest version of the script was written by Jayson Rothwell and Michael DeBruyn.

Natalie Portman was linked to the project in the earlier stages, but after starring in action thriller Hanna, Saoirse has proved she has the skills required for the part.

Visual effects supervisor Michael Gracey is set to make his directorial debut on the fantasy film when it begins shoooting in the autumn.