Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou will reunite with his former museGong Li for the first time in 10 years in an untitled new film slated for 2006.

Qin Lixun, deputy general manager of Beijing New Picture,has confirmed that both Gong and Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat have signed tostar in a period drama which will start filming in China next February.

Zhang's long-time partners Beijing New Picture's ZhangWeiping and Edko Films's Bill Kong will co-produce the new film. The pairproduced Zhang's two martial arts films, Heroand House of Flying Daggers, andhis latest film Riding Alone ForThousands of Miles starring Japanese actor Ken Takakura.

While the script for the untitled project is beingfinalised, Qin said that, contrary to previous reports, the story is not aboutfemale monarch Wu Zetian (which is being developed separately by femaledirector Xu Jinglei) neither will AutumnRemembrance be the film's title.

Despite being a period drama, the story focuses more oncharacter development than the use of martial arts.

Gong, who will be next seen in Rob Marshall's Memoirs of a Geisha, has starred inseven of Zhang's pictures, including RedSorghum which won Zhang a Golden Bear at Berlin and The Story of Qiu Ju which won her a best actress award at Venice.She last collaborated with Zhang in 1995's ShanghaiTriad.

Riding Alone For Thousandof Miles will open in China this December through Beijing NewPicture after its premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival next month.