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CANNES — Glen Basner’s FilmNation has picked up international sales rights, excluding U.S., China and some Asian territories, for Zhang Yimou’s (“House of Flying Daggers”) new project “Heroes of Nanking,” toplining Christian Bale.

Pic, which is currently in production in China, is based on a screenplay by Heng Liu (“Assembly,” “The Story of Qui Ju”), adapted from Geling Yan’s tome.

Story, set in 1937, is inspired by true-life events of the epic journey of an American and 13 courtesans caught in the midst of a war between China and Japan. They soon seek refuge in a church compound together with a group of innocent schoolgirls.

In the midst of struggling to survive the violence and persecution brought on by the Japanese army, an act of heroism leads the group to fight back and risk their lives.

Pic is produced by Zhang Weiping’s New Pictures Film banner.

David Linde, Chaoying Deng, Bill Kong and Leo Shiyoung are executive producers.

Deng, Linde and Stephen Saltzman of Loeb & Loeb will rep New Pictures in the sale of rights.

Pic is skedded to wrap in mid-June and is approximately 40% in English and 60% in Mandarin.

It will world preem in Beijing on December 16, 2011.

FilmNation are here in Cannes shopping an array of titles including Relativity’s yet-to-be-titled Snow White project toplining Julia Roberts, “Lola Versus,” toplining Greta Gerwig, Steven Soderbergh’s tentatively titled “Magic Mike,” helmed by newcomer Alex Pettyfer, and “Take Shelter.”