Coming Home trailer

You can always count on the Cannes Film Festival to showcase the most intriguing releases from around the world. This year, that includes Coming Home, the latest from director Zhang Yimou.

Gong Li (Raise the Red Lantern) and Chen Daoming (Hero) lead the sweeping romantic drama, which has already been scooped up by Sony Pictures Classics for U.S. distribution. Watch the gorgeous first Coming Home trailer after the jump.

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Steven Spielberg and Zhang Yimou almost worked together several years ago, when the two were teamed to create the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olymipcs. Spielberg pulled out of that project, but there’s a chance the two could still do something together in the future.

While Spielberg is pursuing new projects (having put off Robopocalpypse and abandoned American Sniper), Zhang Yimou is attached to make Quasimodo, and has at least one project prepping in China. But Spielberg still fancies a gig with the director, and recently mentioned the idea of them doing a film together that would be set in China. Read More »

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Briefly: Warner Bros. has been developing Quasimodo for a while, with Josh Brolin attached to star and produce. The idea, as the title implies, is to present a new vision of the title character drawn from Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We don’t know who Brolin would play, or what direction the story is taking. But there’s a script (one draft is by Kieran and Nichele Mulroney) and now there’s a director. We told you about this back in 2011, when Tim Burton was rumored to be in the picture to direct. That never quite came together, but the film hasn’t died.

Zhang Yimou (Hero, Raise the Red Lantern, House of Flying Daggers) is now in talks to make the movie. While Yimou’s last film, The Flowers of War, recreated WWII China, this could be an opportunity for the director to exercise some of his visual flair as seen in his crowd-pleasing wuxia films. [Variety]

 

 

Not too long ago the small outfit Wreckin Hill Entertainment picked up US rights to Zhang Yimou‘s new film The Flowers of War. That’s the film in which Christian Bale plays a roguish American who ends up taking responsibility for a group of girls and women who take refuge in a church during Japan’s siege of Nanking during World War II.

The film is China’s entry for this year’s Best Foreign Language film (it is also the most expensive film produced in China) and has an Oscar-qualifying run set to begin December 21 in New York, with openings on Dec 23 in LA and San Francisco.

To promote that Oscar run there is now a US trailer for the film, and it is far more coherent and story-oriented than the sales trailer we saw some time ago. It still shows off the film’s wartime scope, but it also foregrounds the narrative so that we can really get an idea of how the film plays. Check it out below. Read More »

The Chinese release of Zhang Yimou‘s WWII film The Flowers of War is imminent in China, where the film will open on December 16. But its fate has been undecided in the States.

Now Wrekin Hill Entertainment, in association with Row 1 Productions, will release the movie in a limited late December Academy qualifying run, and give the movie a wider release in early 2012.

In The Flowers of War, which is set in 1937, Christian Bale plays “a salty mortician who apparently has come to town to bury the priest of a cathedral in Nanking,” and ends up taking over for the priest when invading Japanese forces threaten the students of a girls’ school that is also housed in the cathedral. We saw a Chinese sales trailer not long ago, but with distribution set for the movie we can probably expect a trailer for US audiences in short order.

The press release is below. Read More »

Before going to work on The Dark Knight Rises, Christian Bale shot a role in Zhang Yimou‘s new film The Flowers of War, a WWII-set film based on the horrifying story of the Nanking Massacre, also called the Rape of Nanking. The film is China’s most expensive ever produced, and will be the country’s submission for the best foreign language film Oscar.

Based on a historical novel by Yan Geling, and shot with a mixture of Chinese and English dialogue (and some Japanese), the film has Bale playing ““John Haufman, a salty mortician who apparently has come to town to bury the priest of a cathedral in Nanking. The cathedral also has a school for girls, and with war waging all around and the priest dead, John dons the priests’ vestments and works out a temporary reprieve from the rampaging Japanese soldiers.”

A Chinese trailer has arrived, and despite some unfinished effects it certainly demonstrates that the scope of this film is huge. Check it out below. Read More »

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 »

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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