Christian Bale stars as a man pretending to be a priest during wartime in Zhang Yimou’s latest epic The Flowers of War. Bale you might know from a little franchise called Terminator, and Yimou was the once prominent Chinese art house regular (To Live, Shanghai Triad) who reconfigured himself into a blockbuster and martial arts filmmaker (Hero, House of Flying Daggers). Check out the epic trailer.

Likely this will be a foreign film Oscar nominee as the film is set to be released December 16 in China, and could have a similar stateside birth. Yimou’s won a couple prizes at Cannes, but has never been an Oscar favorite, though more recently that may have to do with his politics.

Christian Bale makes an interesting addition to the film, as he’s both an actor and star. He recently won an academy award, so it’s interesting to speculate why he took the role. Bale has tried to have other franchises besides Batman, though he seems just as happy to work with Terrence Malick, so it’s hard to know if this was for the money or the art. The Imdb offers little info besides this taste of a plot description:

Chinese sex workers in 1937 volunteer to replace university students as escorts for invading Japanese soldiers.

And it’s hard to tell who’s also in the cast, but Paul Schneider obviously shows up as one of Bale’s old friends.

International, is it really the way of the future, the way of the future, the way of the future?