By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 19, 2011 at 2:08AM
Before he suits up for his third and last time as Batman in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises," Christian Bale headed halfway around the world to do something quite different, starring in Zhang Yimou's (”Hero,” “Raise the Red Lantern”) mega-budgeted historical epic "Nanjing Heroes."
With a budget of about $90 million, the film is one of the most expensive Chinese productions ever, entirely financed within the country, and shot 40% in English, and 60% in Mandarin Chinese. The film focuses on the Nanjing Massacre in 1937, when thousands of inhabitants of the then-capital Nanjing were murdered by invading Japanese troops and Bale plays an American priest named John who shelters prostitutes and students during the Japanese attack on the country. Sounds like some powerful material and certainly a nice gear change for Bale who continues to mix it up between franchise fare. We now have our first look at the film courtesy of Tianjinwe (via /Film) and it looks like a) Bale got rid of that awesome beard and long hair and b) that budget is being spent handsomely. Check out another pic below.
Speaking of massive budgets -- and totally changing directions -- "X-Men: First Class" is just around the corner and each day it seems there is a new drip from the marketing department. This time, we have a new look at Mystique in the film ([JenniferLawrenceDaily via ComingSoon) played by Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence. Not much really to say here except that she definitely looks the part. And over in the UK, another poster has landed for the movie which you can take a gander at courtesy of Obsessed With Film. Another trailer for 'First Class' is around the corner -- though the TV spot that leaked yesterday have been pulled -- and the film hits theaters on June 3rd.