Golden Globe nominee Christian Bale has wasted no time finding his next challenging project. The actor has his sights on Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s upcoming epic, Nanjing Heroes according to THR. China’s most famous director announced the casting news at a press conference on Wednesday to the shock and surprise of the attending media.

Nanjing Heroes will cost about 600 million yuan ($90.2 million), which was roughly the same amount spent on John Woo’s Red Cliff. As the title suggests, the film will center on The Nanjing Massacre, where “Japanese troops killed thousands of Chinese citizens in what was then the nation’s capital in 1937.” To pull off the devastation of the event, Yimous will get some help from the special effects teams behind The Dark Knight and Saving Private Ryan.

You’re probably wondering how Bale will fit into an event that features Chinese and Japanese citizens. He will play an American priest named John “who helps a great number of Chinese escape certain death.” The screenplay was written by Yan and Liu Heng, who wrote the novel upon which director Zhang’s early hit Ju Dou was based.

What do you think of Bale taking on a role in Nanjing Heroes?