Leading Chinese director Feng Xiaogang (Assembly, The Banquet) has put his new project The Nobles on hold to an indefinite date, producer Huayi Brothers Pictures has confirmed.

Huayi's spokesperson said the project, which was originally scheduled to start shooting in April and was aiming for a Christmas release, needs more rewriting on its script and more time in development.

Earlier in April, when Feng attended the Beijing Student Film Festival, he told local media that the project might be delayed because the script was not ready yet. 'I would rather miss the Christmas time slot this year than present an immature work to the audience. It's not responsible to the audience,' Feng was quoted as saying in the Chinese media.

Announced last October during the Pusan International Film Festival, the project was intended as a satire about China 's nouveau riche. The story follows a rich man attempting to learn about culture and taste from an artist who has just returned from overseas. But he later finds out the artist was trying to swindle him out of his money.

Originally Feng intended to cast Jiang Wen and Ge You to play the rivals, and Huayi Brothers also planned to recruit Shu Qi and Maggie Cheung to star in the film.

Industry observers have speculated that the script had some trouble with China 's film censors, which is one of the reasons why the project has been put on hold. However, Huayi Brothers denied the rumour, saying the script simply needed more work and elaboration.

Feng is now working on two other projects which are currently in development, according to Huayi Brothers' production department.