SonyPictures Classics has picked up North American and Latin American rights toZhang Yimou's period epic Curse Of The Golden Flower.

Currentlyshooting in China, the Beijing New Pictures production stars Chow Yun Fat andGong Li, and marks SPC's ninth collaboration with the director following, mostrecently, this year's Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles and House Of The Flying Daggers in 2004.

LongtimeSPC collaborator Bill Kong produced the story of high politics, passion andbetrayal surrounding a king, his queen and three sons.

"Wefeel Curse Of The Golden Flower will bea culmination of Zhang Yimou's great career," SPC co-heads Michael Barkerand Tom Bernard said in a joint statement.

"FromGong Li's stunning performance to Chow Yun Fat's commanding presence toopulence one has rarely ever seen on screen, this movie will have it all:brilliantly executed action set pieces as well as compelling intimate dramaagainst the most colourful historical canvas imaginable."

"Michaeland Tom have done fantastic work with my films in the past," Yimou added."I really look forward to working closely with them again."

Arelease date will be announced shortly. Focus Features International is handling select international sales on the film.