The coincidences of cinema stretch well beyond the shores of North America. Whether its due to a thoughtful, snooping ear or a collective consciousness, if one film gets made about a particular subject, chances are that at least one other one will follow suit. In February, Martha Fischer reported that Alec Baldwin was set to star in The Forbidden City, a movie about an American who returns to China to find the man responsible for The Rape of Nanking. Months later, Erik Davis reported that another Nanking film was to be made -- based on Iris Chang's book*, which was released on the 60th anniversary of the slaughter, The Rape of Nanking.

The film is about to become a reality, as its set to start filming in January. A Chinese, British and American co-production, the movie has a script penned by William Macdonald, and it will be directed by Con Air helmer Simon West. It's an interesting choice, considering the fact that West is known for his lighter action fare, and not serious, historically-based cinema. The film is set to be released on the 70th anniversary of the start of the slaughter, December 13, 2007, with a wider release in 2008. For those who aren't familiar with this bit of history, The Rape of Nanking was a massacre committed by Japanese troops while they occupied the city of Nanking. The crimes included rape, executions and arson, and while the recorded death toll varies, it is believed to be in the hundreds of thousands.

*Thank you, Bill, for the correction. I'm not sure what inspired my fingers to type out "novel!" -MB