Christian Bale is set to star in an upcoming Zhang Yimou film, currently entitled Nanjing Heroes. Yimou, who is thought to be one of China’s most famous directors (he directed the nation’s 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony), is probably best known stateside for directing 2002’s Hero and 2004’s House of Flying Daggers, each of which garnered an Oscar nomination (in the “Best Foreign Language Film” and “Best Achievement in Cinematography” categories respectively).
Nanjing Heroes will take place during the Nanjing Massacre which occurred in 1937 as part of the Second Sino-Japanese War. As for Bale, the thespian will play an American priest named John who helps a number of Chinese citizens escape what looks to be certain death. Bale’s presence won’t be the only Hollywood influence on the film, as THR notes, that the special effects team behind Saving Private Ryan and The Dark Knight (Dark Side FX) has also been tapped to work on the project. Nanjing Heroes will begin shooting, on location in Nanjing, in early January 2011.