The film grossed more than $310 million in the domestic (Chinese) box office, making it the highest grossing Chinese production of all time.

The film was shot in 164 days on an 18-hour daily schedule.

It was Steven Spielberg who recommended Christian Bale for the lead role.

This was the second fully Chinese-funded film to have a Hollywood star in the lead. The first one was Inseparable (2011) starring Kevin Spacey.

This was China's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012.

The mini-series/TV adaptation of this film used some of the same sets (i.e. The Church) which is located in Jiangsu Province, China.

In 2011, director Yimou Zhang selected Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir to be his first protégé and invited her to work closely with him on set during production of this film, as well as another time in the editing room and post-production.

This film is banned in Japan.