Principal photography on Zhang Yimou’s first multi-lingual film, 13 Flowers of Nanjing, began in January — tonight we have our first look at star Christian Bale in costume as “John.” (Evocative, no?) The film, based on the Yan Geling novel The 13 Women of Nanjing, centers on a group of refugees who find sanctuary in a church compound during the Sino-Japanese War: “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.”
Hit the jump to see the images and read more about 13 Flowers.
First, the official synopsis and production details:
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).