Before making The Dark Knight Rises, Christian Bale went to China to make a film called Heroes of Nanking (or The 13 Women of Nanjing or Nanjing Heroes) with director Zhang Yimou. Or, that was what the film was called until recently. 20 minutes of the movie were shown to buyers today in Toronto, and along with that first revelation of footage comes a new name: The Flowers of War.

The film will be released in China on December 16, and the hope is to release it at more or less the same time in the US and other countries. But distribution has to be set up first. Read More »

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Briefly: Christian Bale is at work on The Dark Knight Rises right now, but he’s already shot another film that will hit the festival circuit this fall. Zhang Yimou recently wrapped The 13 Women of Nanjing (which is also being referred to as Heroes of Nanking and Nanjing Heroes) in which Christian Bale plays “an American priest who takes refuge in a church with 13 prostitutes and a group of innocent schoolgirls during the fighting between Chinese and Japanese troops in 1937.” The film brings the actor full circle, in a way, since his first major role was in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, in which he played a boy trying to survive in Japanese-occupied China in 1941.

Liu Heng‘s script is based on a historical novel by Yan Geling, and is about 40% English dialogue and 60% Mandarin. The film is China’s most expensive ever produced, with a budget of $100m, just higher than what John Woo spent on Red Cliff. The film opens in China on December 11, 2011, and will be sold to other markets at TIFF. See two more images here.  [Film Business Asia via Anne Thompson]

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