Matt Damon’s new ponytail, The Great Wall of China, and demon monsters all wrapped up together—it could only be Zhang Yimou’s newest project. ‘The Great Wall’, a Sino-US co-production will finish filming this August in time for a November 2016 release, reports have announced.
The fantasy film will be set in China’s Northern Song dynasty (960–1279) and the plot will untangle a magical proposal for why the Great Wall was built, in a fight to the death against evil.
Hollywood giants set to feature in the movie include Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe, and Pedro Pascal while on the Chinese side, stars Andy Lau, Jing Tian, and Zhang Hanyu will also make up part of the cast.
This will be renowned director Zhang Yimou’s 张艺谋 first work to be filmed entirely in English. The man behind Hero, Raising the Red Lantern, Red Sorghum, and the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony has expressed his excitement as well as commitment to the project. The proposal has long been in the works and preparation has been undertaken for years. This, along with a desire to promote Chinese culture in Hollywood, are strong driving factors for Zhang Yimou.
It couldn’t be more different from Zhang’s last film, Coming Home, which was a small film about damaged lives of the Cultural Revolution.
He hopes it will be an action blockbuster and is currently working with one of the world’s best special effects companies. We await to see the finished product with bated breath!
The Great Wall will unsurprisingly have large sections filmed in China. For other Hollywood films using China as an impressive backdrop, see Location: China.