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]

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. Read More »

Page 2

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 26 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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You can see Christian Bale doing some of the best work of his career on screen right now in The Fighter right now, and not too far into 2011 he’ll get back into the batsuit for Christopher Nolan. But first, he’s going to take a detour to China.

Director Zhang Yimou announced today that the actor will be part of his film Nanjing Heroes, which will begin shooting in January. The film will be 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. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:


News that Zhang Yimou would be remaking the Coen Brothers’ wonderful debut feature Blood Simple caused us to scratch our heads in puzzlement. But every new image and bit of footage from A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (formerly Amazing Tales: Three Guns and The First Gun) has suggested that, hey, maybe the whole project is actually a good idea. Now there’s a trailer for the North American release of the film, and it looks better than anything we’ve seen so far. Read More »


This weekend sees A Noodle Story aka Three Guns, Zhang Yimou‘s daffy-sounding comedy period movie remake of Blood Simple, hit Chinese cinema screens – if you haven’t seen the trailer yet please take a moment to go and bask in its great glowing eccentricity. With that one finally over and out, however, what’s next for the director?

Well, it may be Romance Under a Hawthorn Tree or, apparently more likely, it will be The Thirteen Women of Jinling. This one will be a war time drama set during the 1937 Japanese invasion of China and will be focused on the characters of thirteen refugee prostitutes hiding out in a Nanjing church. As well as these very many roles for Chinese actresses, it seems there’s going to be a dash of Hollywood too. According to producer Zhang Weiping, the production has so far approached Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, and each of them has already shown their interest.

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First up, Zhang Yimou‘s sorta-remake of Blood Simple, the amazing debut feature by Joel and Ethan Coen, has a new title. Once called Amazing Tales: Three Guns, the title now seems to be The First Gun. Except that in some places, as on the upload for the trailer featured below, the title Amazing Tales: Three Guns, or some variant on it, persists. But the new name was reported by Yahoo, and they’ve got to be correct, right? So for now we’ll run with it, but don’t be too surprised if you still see the Three Guns title used in the next few months.

Now, about that trailer: we’ve got it after the jump, and it is a little bit insane. We’ve already seen some images, and they were wild, but this is over the top. You won’t recognize much Coen Brothers in it, but there’s no small amount of weird, wacky style going on. Read More »


Imagine, if you will, a film by the director of House of Flying Daggers or Red Sorghum that has been remade from a picture by the directors of Raising Arizona or The Big Lebowski. What would such a thing look like? Courtesy of the first three stills from Zhang Yimou‘s Three Guns, a remake of the Coen Bros. debut Blood Simple, you don’t even need that much an imagination. Check the images out below the break.

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Wolverine MilkIn this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley marvel at the new trailer for District 9, discuss the new batch of remakes that Hollywood is mulling over this week, reflect on the relative hopelessness of Eclipse, and spend 55 minutes conducting a review/therapy session over the fate of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Special guests Elisabeth Rappe from Cinematical and Neha Tiwari from DL.TV join us.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next week as we review Star Trek (Date and time TBA).

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