Christian Bale has a little movie to make with Christopher Nolan this summer, but before he suits up in Pittsburgh for The Dark Knight Rises, he’ll finish a stint in China working with Zhang Yimou. The director is making a film called The 13 Women of Nanjing, known previously as Nanjing Heroes, which is the latest Chinese film version of the infamous 1937 incident called the Nanjing Massacre, or the Rape of Nanking, in which Japanese soldiers killed hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and soldiers, and raped thousands of women after the capture of the city of Nanjing.

Christian Bale plays a priest in the film, and we’ve got the first images below.

At this point we don’t know much more about the film than the basic info above. In December we heard that Yan and Liu Heng wrote the script based on Yan Geling‘s novel The 13 Women of Nanjing. The book tells the story of “thirteen prostitutes who stepped in for female university students who were to be taken as “escorts” for the troops during the period when nearly 20,000 women and girls were raped and killed by the Japanese troops.” Christian Bale’s priest shtelters some of the prostitutes and students as the Japanese attack is ongoing.

We know that the script’s dialogue breakdown is about 60% Mandarin Chinese and 40% English. There are a couple other major non-Chinese roles in the film, but at this point we still don’t know who was cast in them. This is one of the biggest productions ever to be mounted in China, and is expected to be released in December of this year.

[Tianjinwe.com, thanks to /Film reader Hargun for the head's up!]

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