Christian Bale is set to star in the upcoming film from Zhang Yimou, the visionary director behind 'Hero', 'House of Flying Daggers' and 'Raise the Red Lantern'. The film, titled 'Nanjing Heroes', is about The Nanjing Massacre of 1937 in which Japanese troops killed thousands of Chinese citizens in what was then the nation's capital. The event is etched into China's collective consciousness and has been depicted in a number of Chinese films in recent years. Bale is to play an American priest who helps many of the Chinese escape death.
When asked if Bale's casting was just a ploy to boost the popularity of Chinese cinema around the world, Zhang Yimou said
"It's the overall strategy for Chinese cinema to approach the world and broaden its influence but casting Bale was a coincidence because the script happened to have an English-speaking part in the lead."
He also mentioned what particularly impressed him about Bale
"I met Christian in America and was impressed with his serious book research for the role,"
The film is set to be one of China's most expensive productions ever with a budget of around $90million. Shooting will begin in January enabling Bale to squeeze it in before he begins work on a little superhero movie which a few people are excited about.