According to foreign press reports, Alec Baldwin has agreed to star in a $15 million, multinational production called The Forbidden City. The film, which will be directed by Russian theater director Andrei Konchalovsky, will be jointly produced by American, Chinese, and British companies. Adapted from a 1979 novel by Stephen Becker called The Last Mandarin, the story revolves around "adventurer Jack Burnham [returning] to China to track down a Japanese war criminal responsible for the Rape of Nanking in 1933."

This actually sounds like just a cool adventure story, as opposed to the Socially Conscious flicks that usually happen when big American stars go to China (I'm looking at you, Richard Gere). The idea of Baldwin as action hero, however is a little scary - I mean, The Hunt for Red October was great, but that was a (depressingly) long time, when he was much thinner and a lot younger. That said, however, the source novel is actually the sequel to one written nearly 30 years before, so if the film ages the character properly, Baldwin's presence might just make sense.

The rest of the cast has not yet been filled out, but the film will be shot in China, and is expected to be in theaters by 2007.
categories Movies, Cinematical