Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures have released the first trailer for Zhang Yimou‘s (Hero, The House Of Flying Daggers) The Great Wall. Starring Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal (Game Of Thrones), the film will tell audiences the “true story” of why The Great Wall Of China was erected.
Watch the trailer here below.
Seeing how Legendary is behind the production, we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised that they are making yet another film about giant monsters. After all they did give us Godzilla and Pacific Rim, and pretty soon Kong: Skull Island, Pacific Rim 2, Godzilla 2, and Godzilla vs King Kong. The Great Wall is considered to be one of the most expensive films that China has ever made. It’s hard not to think that looking at the highly-stylized visuals, big-budget set pieces, and A-list actors.
Despite Damon being the major face of a Chinese film, a majority of the cast are Chinese, and Yimou told EW that what he really wants to do is “bring Chinese color and cultural background to the worldwide audience through a film language that they are familiar with.” He calls the blending of two different cultures of making movies “synergistic filmmaking,” adding that they are using “Hollywood filmmaking to introduce Chinese culture.”
Although adding a monster element does make The Great Wall historically inaccurate, there are other films that have bent historical events to make it more entertaining to a wide audience. Yimou explains that the film is both “a period piece and an action film,” with a fantasy element added in because it “does play a major role because of the monsters.” But unlike Godzilla, the Kaiju, or even Kong, this film stands on its own because it uses ancient Chinese monsters. While there are all these fantasy elements at play, the goal was to make the film as real as possible. “Even though itâ€™s a fantasy movie, we filmed it in a very realistic way. We want it to feel like the events actually happened. Other than the monster, all aspects of this film are backed by either scientific or historical research.” You can read more about Yimou’s experience working on a Hollywood film over at EW.
That is great and all, but I have no clue as to why Damon and Pascal are in this (meaning, also, why are their non-Chinese characters there)? We know that Damon is the star to make the film more marketable, but to me his presence in the movie is just off-putting and distracting. What’s he doing there? Is Damon just playing off the Tom Cruise role in The Last Samurai?
Tony Gilroy, Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro penned the script based on a story Thomas Tull and World War Z scribe Max Brooks.
The film also stars Jing Tian, Willem Dafoe, Hanyu Zhang, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Kenny Lin, Junkai Wang, Zheng Kai, Cheney Chen, Xuan Huang, and Andy Lau. The Great Wall opens in 3D on February 17, 2017.
Hereâ€™s the official synopsis for The Great Wall:
Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendaryâ€™s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the worldâ€™s most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.