According to Production Weekly, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (of Bend It Like Beckham and the underrated Ang Lee film Ride With The Devil), Radha Mitchell (of High Art and Man on Fire), master of swords and two-handed pistol shooting Chow Yun Fat and former Chow co-star Michelle Yeoh are booked to be in the period drama The Children of Huang Shi for director Roger Spottiswoode.
The film, which tells the story of young British Journalist Gregg Hogg (played by Myers) who saves a group of orphaned children during the 1937 Japanese invasion of China by taking them on a 1000 mile journey to safety, is being written by Jane Hawksley. Mitchell will play the brave Australian nurse who helps Hogg save the children.
This new film covers similar ground explored before by Steven Spielberg in his film Empire of the Sun . In that film, a very young and pre-Batman Begins, Christian Bale is forced to flee his home when the Japanese invade China. He ends up separated from his parents and living at an abandoned airfield with other refugees -- including John Malkovich, Joe Pantoliano and a young Ben Stiller in one of his first movie roles . Empire of the Sun is a great movie that if you haven't seen lately, or at all, deserves a look.
If The Children of Huang Shi, which while obviously dealing with similar subject matter tells a different story, turns out to be half as good as Empire of the Sun, I will definitely be interested in seeing it. Even if Chow Yun Fat doesn't fly through the air, pistols blazing away in both hands, taking out bad guys.
Filming on The Children of Huang Shi is expected to begin mid-November in China with production moving later to Australia.