Chinese superstar actress Gong Li is to star in the new film by Sun Zhou, re-uniting her with the director of Berlin 2000 competitor Breaking The Silence. That film just won her the runner-up prize for Best Actress at the recently completed Seattle Film Festival.

Production of Sun's new film, The Train Of Zho Zhu, is due to start in July with Gong starring as a woman in love with two different men. The production is likely to be set up as a Chinese-Hong Kong co-production.

"It is a long time since I appeared in a romance," the actress said yesterday."I have no other choices in life other than to act. That is why I take my time to pick my projects."

It had been rumoured that Gong might appear in the next picture by celebrateddirector Zhang Yimou, with whom she worked on several films before 1995 whentheir personal relationship ended.

Zhang's next feature, Hero, is set to shoot in July with In The Mood For Love star Tony Leung Chiu-wai now confirmed to star. Zhang will first complete a series of shorts for China's Olympic Games bid (Screen Daily June 15th).

Also tipped to appear in Hero, a $17m picture about the relationship between China's first emperor and an assassin, are Jiang Wen, Zhang Ziyi, Maggie Cheung and Jet Li.

Leung and Zhang Ziyi, who shot to international stardom with Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon, are also due to appear in Wong Kar-wei's 2046, - also being readied for a July start - alongside Takura Kimura and Faye Wong.

L'Oreal contract model Gong, declined to answer questions about Zhang Ziyi, who hasbeen taken to the hearts of Chinese audiences and nicknamed "LittleGong".