Beijing-based production anddistribution outfit Huayi Brothers Film Investment has announced the nextproject from hot Chinese director Feng Xiaogang - a US$15m period film with theworking title The Banquet.

The film, which is looselybased on William Shakespeare's Hamlet but set in Tang Dynasty China, reteams three crew members who worked togetheron Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon- action director Yuen Wo-ping, who will also serve as executive producer, artdirector Tim Yip and composer Tan Dun.

Zhang Li, who worked withFeng on his last film, A World Without Thieves, is the DoP. The main cast is still to be confirmed.

The film, which is being setup as a co-production with Japanese and Korean investors, is scheduled to starta five-month shoot at the end of September or beginning of October.

Huayi is aiming to create anew peak box office season for local movies by releasing the film in the summerof 2006. The current trend in China is to release big local productions - inparticular Feng's blockbusters - at Christmas or Chinese New Year.

Huayi is also working on $20mperiod epic Battle Of Wisdom, setto star Andy Lau; period drama The Ghost Inside, starring Leon Lai and Rene Liu, and a war moviewhich Feng is set to direct after The Banquet (see Screendaily May 16).