A new war epic movie has started filming with more than 40 A-list stars to mark the anniversary of the Chinese army, producers announced on Monday.
The film, entitled and literally translated as "The Founding of An Army," will be the third installment of the "Founding of New China" trilogy.
Previously, Han Sanping, the director and former head of the China Film Group Corporation, directed "The Founding of A Republic" in 2009 and co-directed "The Founding of the Party" (also known as "Beginning of The Great Revival") in 2011 with Huang Jianxin to tell stories from the revolutionary era.
Now, Han will serve as general initiator and art director on the new installment, which tells the story of how the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) was created. Huang will serve as executive producer. The director chair was handed to Andrew Lau, who directed the groundbreaking "Infernal Affairs," which was later adapted into Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-winning "The Departed."
La Peikang, chairman of the China Film Group Corporation, said at the press conference in Beijing that they have been preparing for five years for "The Founding of An Army" and intend to reenact the historic events as accurately as possible.
The story opens with the Nanchang Uprising in 1927, which was the first major Kuomintang-Communist engagement during the Chinese Civil War. The uprising was carried out by the Communists to counter the anti-communist purges by the Kuomintang.
At the press conference, which was specially held on the 89th anniversary of the founding of the army, a part of cast was also revealed. Liu Ye, a veteran actor, will play Mao Zedong, while Zhu Yawen will play Zhou Enlai. Other actors in the all-star cast include Oho Ou, Ma Tianyu, Liu Haoran and Ma Yili. More actors will be announced soon.
"The leaders were all young men at that time, and they gave their youth and loyalty to the country to build a strong army," director Lau said.
The film, produced by China Film Co., Ltd., Bona Film Group Limited., Nanchang TV and August First Film Studio, is scheduled to be released next August 1 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the army.