Chinese director FengXiaogang, whose latest film The Banquetis currently topping the box office across Asia, is working with crew membersfrom Korea's MK Pictures on his upcoming war epic, tentatively entitled The Assembly.

Speaking at a Korean press conferencefor The Banquet, Feng said he was a fanof Kang Jegyu's blockbuster war epic Taegukgiand had asked the Korean director for advice on his next project - a $10m warfilm set during the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War.

Kang referred Feng to hisproduction company, MK Pictures, which sent in experts from Taegukgi to handle special effects,make-up and cinematography for the war scenes.

Beijing-based Huayi Brothersis producing The Assembly, which is scheduledto start shooting Oct 6, aiming for release at the end of 2007.

"Directors Feng and Kang aregood friends, and although it hasn't been an official collaboration, MKPictures has been assisting the production by sending many crew members to Beijing," said Huayi Brothers' head of international salesand co-production Felice Bee. "We're finalising papers with co-productionpartners this week and next."

The script is written by LiuHeng whose credits include Zhang Yimou's JuDou and The Story Of Qui Ju.

The story follows an officerin the Civil War whose unit is sent to spearhead a mission to move the entirecompany forward. He is told to fight for four hours until he hears the assemblycall that allows his men to retreat - but he never hears the call.

Feng's The Banquet opens in Korea this weekend.