The Hollywood Reporter states that famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou has cast Bale in the lead role for his next film, Nanjing Heroes. The film is a retelling of the Nanjing Massacre, a 1937 event where Japanese soldiers killed thousands of Chinese's citizens in what was the country's capital city at that time. Bale stars as John, an American priest who assists numerous Chinese refugees as they flee from certain death.
"I met Christian in America and was impressed with his serious book research for the role," the director said of casting Bale in the lead role. He added that Bale's casting wasn't a specific attempt to increase China's filmmaking profile in the United States, saying: "It's the overall strategy for Chinese cinema to approach the world and broaden its influence but casting Bale was a coincidence because the script happened to have an English-speaking part in the lead."
Shooting begins on January 10, 2011, according to the article, which indicates that Bale will film this movie before he reprises his role as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises.