Movie star Alec Baldwin has been given the key to China's Forbidden City - to shoot a new film there.

The PEARL HARBOR star will play an American diplomat attempting to capture Japanese war criminals in period thriller THE FORBIDDEN .

The $15 million (GBP8.3 million) film will shoot mainly in China, with one pivotal scene being filmed in the Forbidden City itself, according to website

Andrei Konchalovsky will direct the film, an adaptation of STEPHEN BECKER's bestseller THE LAST MANDARIN. Shooting starts in May (06).