Although currently hard at work on concluding Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises, Oscar winner Christian Bale has another entirely different project that is already in the can and will tour the festival circuit towards the end of this year. Zhang Yimou‘s The 13 Women of Nanjing is a period drama set in China and Bale will play an American priest called John. The film tells the story of “13 prostitutes and a group of innocent schoolgirls who are trying to survive during the fighting between Chinese and Japanese troops in 1937.”
Little is known about Bale’s character who takes refuge with the women and shelters them from the attacks, in which thousands of women were raped by Japanese soldiers. The film will split language between English and Mandarin and is based on 13 Flowers of Nanjing, a novel by Yan Geling.
The film is an interesting departure for Yimou who is most known for martial arts epics such as Hero (which was endorsed by Quentin Tarantino) and the spectacular House of Flying Daggers. The film to me sounds fascinating and is definitely one to look out for. It will most likely receive a release date for the US next year when it goes on market for distributors at Toronto in September. It opens in China in December.