Aaliyah, Jet Li To Star In Cross-Cultural "Romeo And Juliet"

Aaliyah has become the latest singer to trade her vocal mic for a boom mic. The R&B artist has just signed on to appear alongside Chinese action star Jet Li in the film "Romeo Must Die."

Cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak ("The Devil's Advocate," "Speed," "Prizzi's Honor") will direct the flick, which is being described as a cross-cultural retelling of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."

In the film, Li will portray Han Sung, a martial arts master who comes to America to avenge his brother's death. Aaliyah will play Trish, Sung's love interest.

"Romeo Must Die" will be Aaliyah's first starring role on the big screen. She previously had a cameo in 1998's "Dr. Dolittle."

Li is a veteran of dozens of Hong Kong action films, but he made his American debut last year in the Mel Gibson-Danny Glover vehicle "Lethal Weapon 4."

In related news, Fatima Sayeed, the choreographer behind several videos for Aaliyah, Busta Rhymes, and Mase (among others) has also been tapped to serve

as a technical advisor for the picture.

Producers hope to release "Romeo Must Die" by the end of the year.