China is certainly where the money is these days. With an ever expanding box-office take each year, and more and more foreign films being allowed a release, it’s no wonder that Hollywood and the big studios want a piece of the pie. Unfortunately this has lead to a lot of needless pandering, such as Chinese exclusive scenes in IRON MAN 3 and lots of behind kissing in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION. Legendary, the studio behind the likes of PACIFIC RIM and GODZILLA, look to be taking a more organic approach with THE GREAT WALL, an American/Chinese co-production with Universal Pictures, China Film Co. Ltd., and Le Vision Pictures.
The film, directed by the incredible Zhang Yimou, sees humanity making a last stand on the titular wonder of the world against mythical monsters in 15th Century China. Yimou is most famous for his wuxia films, HERO and HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS. A stellar cast has just been announced, with Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, and Willem Dafoe taking on the American roles, alongside an extensive cast of Chinese nationals. First up is the magnificent Andy Lau, who funnily enough played the Matt Damon role in INFERNAL AFFAIRS, the original version of THE DEPARTED. There’s also Jing Tian, Zhang Hanyu, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Lin Gengxin, Zheng Kai, Chen Xuedong, and Huang Xuan. Joining these thesps will be pop star Wang Junkal, as well as two debut performances from Yu Xintian and Liu Qiong in supporting roles.
This has the potential to be something epic to behold and we really hope it delivers. THE GREAT WALL will be released on 23rd November 2016.