Directed by China Film Group head, Han Sanping, and Huang Jianxin, "The Founding of a Republic" is an inspiring historical epic that celebrated the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. To appeal to China's younger generation, the film packed in perhaps the most star-studded cast ever, a 176-member smorgasbord that included cameos from Andy Lau, Zhang Ziyi, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and directors Jiang Wen, Chen Kaige and John Woo. The leading roles went to TV actors equally renowned in China, such as Tang Guoqiang and Zhang Guoli.
Premiering on Sept. 17, 2009, "The Founding of a Republic" retells the history of how the Communists, led by Mao Zedong, won the hearts of people and support from other political parties while they tried to establish a democratic alliance government against the Kuomintang, then led by Chiang Kai-Shek.
"The Founding of a Republic," which collected 420 million yuan (US$61.51 million) at the box office, didn't try to show off the battle scenes, but instead focused on how great men communicated and made decisions during the turbulent time. It portrayed those men as earnest, decent people with wisdom, ideals, heart and emotions. Veterans were moved to tears while young people enjoyed a good history lesson. Riding on its huge success, Han was soon planning another epic using the same model, "The Founding of the Communist Party of China."