Christian Bale Goes To Zhang’s “Nanjing”

Christian Bale is set to star in “Hero” filmmaker Zhang Yimou’s upcoming epic “Nanjing Heroes” says The Hollywood Reporter.

The story deals with the famed Nanjing Massacre when Japanese troops killed thousands of Chinese citizens in what was then the nation’s capital in 1937. There have been various films about the subject matter lately, most about German businessman John Rabe who helped save hundreds of Chinese refugees.

Bale isn’t playing Rabe, rather an American priest called John who helps a great number of Chinese escape certain death. The film will be shot about 40% in English and the rest in Mandarin Chinese.

Yan and Liu Heng penned the script while Zhang Weiping will produce. Dark Side FX (“Rambo,” “Band of Brothers”) will be handling the visual effects with the help of a $90 million budget said to be on par with John Woo’s “Red Cliff”.

Shooting kicks off January 10th in a Republican Era (1911-1949) replica church built near Nanjing. Bale will shoot the project before he begins work on “The Dark Knight”.