War drama, Cultural Revolution tale in mix

BEIJING — Chinese helmer Zhang Yimou is mulling whether to follow his comedic take on the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple” with a World War II movie or a Cultural Revolution drama.

Among several projects Zhang is developing are Yan Geling’s “Jin Lin Shi San Chai” (The 13 Women of Nanjing), which is about 13 sex workers in Nanking during the Japanese invasion in 1937 who volunteered to take the place of university students who were being forced into prostitution.

The helmer is also looking at Ai Mi’s “Shan Zha Shu Zhi Lian” (The Love of the Hawthorn Tree), which is set during the political turbulence of the Cultural Revolution.

“Zhang Yimou is considering around three or four projects. They are all in development or preparation, so it’s hard to say which we will choose,” his assistant Pang Liwei told Variety.

Zhang is applying the finishing touches to the “Blood Simple” remake, which has been localized and features a noodle-shop owner. It is due for release on Dec. 11 in China. Sony Pictures Classics will distrib the pic in North America, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.

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