HONG KONG (AP) -- The director of the Chinese war epic "Nanjing Heroes" is praising Christian Bale for his professionalism and willingness to forego Hollywood comforts on the film shoot.

Director Zhang Yimou says he was very impressed by the "A-list Hollywood actor traveling alone to an alien country and an alien set, working and living for several months with several hundred foreigners he doesn't know well."

The Oscar winner for "The Fighter" portrays an American priest in the World War II movie set in the city of Nanjing. It's scheduled to be released in China in December.

The statement from Zhang's production company sent to The Associated Press on Wednesday also says Bale finished filming recently and has returned to England.