Focus Features has boardedthe Untitled Zhang Yimou Epic, the Chinese master's$45m upcoming period romance starring Gong Li and Chow Yun-fat.

President of internationalsales and distribution Alison Thompson will commence sales in Berlin this weekon the project, which is set to begin shooting in China at the end of the monthin time for January 2007 delivery.

Focus is handling worldwiderights excluding Asia, English-speaking territories and Latin America. As he usually does, producer Bill Kong will retain those territories to sell himself.

Previous collaborationsbetween Focus Features and Kong include Houseof The Flying Daggers, Hero, and the Jet Li actionpicture Fearless, which enjoyed amighty Asian launch over Chinese New Year recently.

"Epic is absolutelyappropriate in this instance," Thompson told Screen. "It reads like this extraordinarily rich Greek tragedyabout incest and lust and power struggles within the Imperial Palace."

Li, who last starred for Yimou in 1995's ShanghaiTriad, plays a royal bodyguard during the Tang Dynasty who falls in lovewith Yun-fat's prince. The pair's destiny is strewnwith hardship as enemies try to keep them apart.

The project is being puttogether by Beijing New Picture Film Co and Kong's EdkoFilms.