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Calendar:
Fall 2015 - Next Bourne movie to start filming (Europe, including Tenerife in September)
2 October 2015 - The Martian to be released
29 July 2016 - new Bourne film to be released
23 November 2016 - The Great Wall to be released

Currently filming:
The Great Wall in Beijing and Qingdao (until August)
  • Matt and the cast of The Great Wall held a press conference on Wednesday for an international audience. A report is at the LA Times, with various additional photos available at: x, Elle UK and x. Another report is at AP.This Twitter account includes more photos and videos from the press conference. A cute tumblr post of Matt talking about Luhan is here, with a video of the comments here.

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    But that is exactly what Tull's Legendary Entertainment is now in the midst of doing. After a few false starts, Tull recruited China’s most famous director, Zhang Yimou, to helm the $150-million project and enlisted powerful investors including state-run China Film Group and LeVision Pictures. Matt Damon and Hong Kong legend Andy Lau are anchoring a cast peppered with “little fresh meat,” or Chinese heartthrobs, who appeal to young Chinese women.

    After months of shooting on 28 sets in Beijing and on an elaborate faux wall constructed in the eastern city of Qingdao (no filming actually took place on the historic structure), “The Great Wall” will soon move into post-production and intensive visual-effects work in preparation for a Nov. 23, 2016, stateside release. It is one of the highest-budget films ever in China, and certainly the biggest U.S.-China co-production to date.

    In China at least, anticipation is running high. On Thursday, Zhang, Damon and Lau — along with other cast members including Pedro Pascal (who plays Oberyn Martell on HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) and Chinese actress Jing Tian — sat for the first of what are sure to be numerous press events to stoke interest in the film. Zhan Haicheng of China Film Group said the movie brought together the “best of China and U.S.” and was a “real co-production,” though he called it a “very American film.”

    Whether “Great Wall” may be too American and fantastical for Chinese audiences, yet too Chinese for international audiences, remains a question on both sides of the Pacific.

    Damon spoke in Beijing to publicize the movie "The Great Wall," which has a budget of $150 million. Damon, whose movies include "Good Will Hunting" and the "Bourne" action franchise, plays a battle-scarred mercenary in search of treasure. Pedro Pascal, of "Game of Thrones," is his sword-wielding partner. Lu plays a boy emperor.

  • ETA: This Daily Mail story:

    Matt Damon looks strikingly different as he debuts luscious ponytail at The Great Wall press conference in Beijing
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  • Project Greenlight premieres 9/13 at 10pm on HBO - Facebook site.
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  • A press conference about The Great Wall is scheduled for today in Beijing, and a possible early poster was also tweeted, thanks to Paula.

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  • Matt and director Zhang Yimou appeared by video during US/China talks last month:

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    Kristie Kenney ‏@KristieKenney Jun 24
    Star power at #USChina talks. Yao Ming in person. Matt Damon & Chinese Director Zhang Yimou via video fm Beijing.

  • Pedro Pascal posted a photo with Lucy and Shawn Vance on his Instagram.

  • Alicia Vikander has been confirmed for the Bourne sequel.
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  • A photo of the main Great Wall cast has been released. Filming continues in Beijing.

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    Sina Entertainment today posted a group photo of the cast of director Zhang Yimou's new film Changcheng (the Great Wall). Hollywood star Matt Damon is seen among leading actors that include Andy Lau, Jing Tian, Wang Junkai, Willem Defoe and Pedro Pascal.

  • Julia Stiles will be returning for the next Bourne film. Alicia Vikander and Viggo Mortensen are also in talks.

    Julia Stiles is set to reprise her role in the next “Bourne Identity” film that will have Matt Damon returning as Jason Bourne and Paul Greengrass attached to direct.

    Alicia Vikander is also in talks to join the cast. Sources have told Variety that Viggo Mortensen was holding the offer to play the assassin tracking Bourne but has not confirmed whether he will be joining the cast.
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  • Interviews from visits to The Martian set in Budapest in December and February have been released at a number of sites including Newsweek, Collider and JoBlo, including:

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    Matt Damon looks terrible. But that’s the point. The make-up department has slathered his face in scabs, bruises and dirt. The black circles under his eyes match his outfit and sneakers (he hasn’t donned his spacesuit yet). His hair and beard are matted and pinned with barrettes. “I have these hair extensions in,” he says. “I look like I should be playing in a rock band.”

    Damon might look like he would fit in at a Bushwick dive bar, but he’s actually impersonating an astronaut. It’s February in Budapest, Hungary, and we’re on the set of The Martian, which he’s making with British director Ridley Scott of Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator fame and Exodus: Gods and Kings infamy. The shoot is nearly complete. The story is structured around Mars days (called Sols, which are 39 minutes longer than Earth days), starting at Sol 6 and ending on Sol 549. “Today, I think we’re on 547,” Damon says. “I’m living on Mars time.”

    Damon is the obvious choice for Watney. He’s perhaps the most likeable actor in Hollywood not named Tom Hanks. When he speaks, he opens his eyes wide and smiles. He likes to laugh, and when he laughs, his eyes crinkle. New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis once called him the contemporary ideal for the “American character.” No other actor “can better vault across rooftops and in and out of genres and make you care greatly if he falls. He’s so homespun that he could have sprung wholly formed from a corn silo.” Damon might be the only actor capable of making Watney seem more like your lovable but slightly inappropriate cousin than a misogynist frat boy.

    Did you have to lose weight?
    I talked to Ridley about it because I’ve lost weight before for movies. We had about six months. And I said, “That’s perfect. I’ll lose about 30 or 40 pounds, and we’ve got to shoot all that stuff first.” And he went, “Fuck that.”

    Your character is offbeat and kind of raunchy.
    And yet really capable and smart. The writer Drew Goddard said he read the book and he fell in love with it, and he wanted to do because it was like a love letter to science. And he wanted to make that cool. In one sense, the guy’s an incredible nerd. He’s a botanist. But that’s really what’s cool about the character in the movie. He needs every single one of his skills to save his life. It’s fun to play a character who’s smarter than you. He gets to the right answers quicker than I would. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in my surface suit on set thinking, I wouldn’t last 20 minutes on Mars. Every mistake is life-threatening.

    Collider
    One of the many things I love about Matt Damon is his infectious charm and easy-going attitude. While he’s one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, he never acts like one. He’s always grounded and honest, willing to answer anything with a smile.

    So was that year and a half off by accident or intentional?
    The first six months was intentional because we moved from New York to LA, so just to be around the kids for that transition I took time off. And then I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to do. I mean you see what’s out there…it’s tough. The movies that have really been my bread and butter for twenty years, they don’t make them anymore. They really don’t. It’s really very hard to get the money together. A lot of that stuff is migrating to television. They’re more apt to take a huge risk on a high concept idea than on a kitchen sink drama or something. When this came along, I went ‘how many of these movies will I be able to really do that I’ll like, that are original and aren’t just a knockoff of something else?’

  • New Danish screenwriters have been selected by Matt and producer Jennifer Todd to write the script for RFK.
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  • Recent interviews with Matt in Hong Kong have been released to coincide with the trailer and poster for The Martian, which has been brought forward to 2 October. Interviews: video interview with Richard Wilkins (Australian TV), Inquirer.net and the Times of India (with thanks to B), including:

    Casually dressed in a black T-shirt, denims and sporting a ponytail, Hollywood heartthrob Matt Damon, 44, is startlingly unstarry.

    Making himself comfortable on a chair, overlooking the sea in a five-star hotel suit in Hong Kong, where we met him, he quickly adds, "I've always wanted long hair." Charming and witty, he spoke to us about his upcoming film The Martian directed by Ridley Scott, where he plays astronaut Mark Watney, who gets stranded on Mars.

    In the film, you speak of growing plants on Mars. Are you as curious in real life as well, someone with strong survival instincts?
    No! If you drop me alone in Hong Kong, I would be in trouble, let alone Mars. No, I am definitely not the person who would survive. I mean I am an actor. Are you kidding me, if you drop me on Mars, I would be looking around for someone to bring me a cappuccino.

    Your role in this movie reminds one of your cameo in Interstellar.
    (Smiles) Yes, they are in similar circumstances. I had taken a year-and-a-half off and the only thing I did was the cameo in Interstellar and then this role came along. I said to Ridley when I first met with him, "I just played a guy stranded on a planet. You want me to play a guy stranded on a planet!" We laughed about it but the movies are so different that it felt like apples and oranges. The circumstances are the same but it's a very different movie.

    When do we see you in India next?
    I came there in the fall of 2013. This year I am slammed. I am shooting near Hong Kong and then I go to Europe to do the next Bourne movie, so probably next year in 2016. I'd love to take my kids across the world so that they can start experiencing travel; they are getting old enough...certainly my teenagers.

    Inquirer.net
    While he has made a living playing the winning everyman on film, Matt Damon has an otherworldly presence in person. It’s those icy blue eyes, so bright they seem unreal; but there’s also that smile, so easy it seems like something Hollywood hasn’t changed.

    He flashes that quick wit when he recounts asking Scott in jest on the set about the presence of extraterrestrial life. “I would joke, ‘Hey, is this the scene where we’re going to see the Martian? No, he’d say, you are the Martian!’”

  • Andy Weir's take on The Martian release date being moved up:

    Andy Weir
    The Martian's release date has been bumped up to October 2nd. When Aditya Sood (producer of the film) emailed to let me know he said "this is the film distribution equivalent of the Rich Purnell maneuver".
    Imagine being 10 years old and your parents tell you Christmas has been moved up two months. That's how I'm feeling right now. Woohoo!
    Why did they move it? I can only speculate. The trailer had overwhelmingly positive feedback, so they're probably feeling confident about how the film will perform. Money now is better than money later so why not release earlier? Also, they probably didn't want to go head-to-head with Mockingjay and the new Bond film, which both release shortly before Nov 25.
    Mostly, though, I suspect it's because the earlier release date puts more distance between The Martian and Star Wars, giving Watney a chance to keep your attention for longer before Han Solo gut-punches him and takes the spotlight.

  • Jimmy Kimmel has spoofed The Martian's trailer. An interview with Andy Weir by Adam Savage is also below:

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  • The first official trailer and the poster for The Martian has now been released.



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  • The first promotional video for The Martian has been released, with Mark Watney introducing his crew. The official website, and Twitter and Facebook page are also live. There's also a fan tumblr page and Simon Kinberg tweeted the cast sheet. The trailer will be released tomorrow, according to Fox UK.



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  • Entertainment Weekly and People both posted preview articles on The Martian with new photos, including:

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    "Through Interstellar and watching the fun that Annie [Hathaway] and Matt [Damon] had playing astronauts, I thought I really want to do that," Jessica Chastain tells PEOPLE. "It was about two weeks later, Ridley called me and asked me if I would play an astronaut in his next film, The Martian – I jumped at the chance of course."

    And as for working with Damon in The Martian, Chastain can’t say much … but she’s excited for people to see the finished product.

    “I need to do another film with Matt, because we have very little scenes together in this film, and he is a pleasure to work with,” she said. “I have been a fan of his work for so long – everything from Good Will Hunting to The Informant. He is just brilliant, and I think his performance in The Martian is going to blow people away, to see him as they have never seen him. It is exciting for me to watch.”

  • The trailer for The Martian should be out shortly, as a Canadian rating for two PG-rated trailers has been released. Thanks to Lee for the tip.

  • Pedro Pascal has posted another Instagram pic with Matt in Sai Kung, Hong Kong.

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    pascalispunk
    2 days ago
    My Blues Brother #TheGreatWallMovie #Legendary #SaiKung #HongKong
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  • Empire magazine has posted the first official photos from The Martian.

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    "Any survival story is fascinating,” expands [Ridley] Scott in Empire. “I think of it as a 21st century Robinson Crusoe.” The director, who, presumably because of permit problems on the Red Planet, doubled Jordan for Mars, also has Jeff Daniels, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig and Chiwetel Ejiofor aboard for the ride.

  • Matt was in Hong Kong for interviews for an upcoming film in recent days.
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