Principal photography has begun on Zhang Yimou’s first multi-lingual film, 13 Flowers of Nanjing (formerly Nanjing Heroes). As we previously reported, likely future Oscar-winner Christian Bale will play an American trapped in a Church compound in Nanjing, China during the Sino-Japanese war. The film is Yimou’s follow-up to the curious A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop, and Under the Hawthorn Tree, the latter of which has yet to be released in the U.S. Bale is also reportedly attached to star The Last Photograph, and, of course, The Dark Knight Rises.
Hit the jump for the full press release, which includes a synopsis for 13 Flowers of Nanjing.
Here’s the press release:
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY BEGINS ON ACCLAIMED FILMMAKER ZHANG YIMOU’S FIRST MULTI-LINGUAL FILM
13 FLOWERS OF NANJING STARRING CHRISTIAN BALE
HONG KONG – January 10, 2010 – Principal photography has begun at Nanjing Studios outside of Nanjing, China on 13 Flowers of Nanjing starring Christian Bale, the next film from master filmmaker Zhang Yimou.
13 Flowers of Nanjing is set in 1937 in Nanjing, China during Sino-Japanese war, where a few brave refugees find sanctuary in a Church compound. The group, thrown together by the terrible chaos of war, risks their lives for the Church’s school children as they struggle to survive the violence and persecution brought on by the violent invasion of the city. Through tremendous adversity, heroism presents itself among the least likely individuals as they bravely navigate their treacherous surroundings to try and save themselves and each other. 13 Flowers of Nanjing is a story of heroism and love: for those around you, for one’s family, and the love between an unlikely couple which fate brings together. Christian Bale will play John, an American, trapped thousands of miles from home and seemingly, with nowhere to turn.
Produced by Zhang Weiping and Bill Kong, the film will incorporate both Chinese and English dialog into its narrative. Zhang Yimou will be reuniting with Beijing New Pictures and Edko Films Limited for the project. David Linde will executive produce. The team has also tapped Xiaoding Zhao as director of photography (House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower); renown special effects supervisor Joss Williams (Aliens, The Bourne Ultimatum, Munich); production designer Yohei Taneda (Kill Bill Vol. 1); composer Qigang Chen (Under The Hawthorn Tree); production and costume designer William Chang (In The Mood of Love, 2047) ; and costume designer Graciela Mazon (The Legend of Zorro, From Dusk Till Dawn).
Director Zhang Yimou is one of the most renowned Chinese directors working today. He has won countless international awards and honors during the span of his career for films like Raise the Red Lantern, To Live, Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and Red Sorghum, the first film he directed in 1987. In 2008, he directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Currently, versatile and renowned actor Christian Bale is receiving rave reviews for his portrayal of Dicky Eklund in The Fighter, where he stars alongside Mark Wahlberg for director David O’Russell. Bale’s acting credits also include both commercial and critically lauded films such as Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Terminator Salvation, The Machinist, Rescue Dawn, 3:10 to Yuma, American Psycho, Metroland and Velvet Goldmine among many others.
Yimou, Kong and Linde previously worked together on Yimou’s House of Flying Daggers and the Oscar® nominated action film Hero which grossed over $200 million worldwide. Kong and Linde have a long relationship working together in both distribution and production including Ang Lee’s four-time Oscar winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which grossed over $120 million domestically.