Production has begun on “The Great Wall,” Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s first English-language film. The movie is also the first for Legendary East, the ambitious Chinese offshoot of Hollywood super-producer Legendary Entertainment.
The film stars Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal and Willem Dafoe alongside Chinese stars including Andy Lau, Zhang Hanyu and Eddie Peng. Production started March 30 and will run till July.
Legendary describes the story as “an elite force making a last stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure.” Locations include the China Film Group Studios at Huairou, near Beijing, and the coastal city of Qingdao.
Zhang Zhao, chief executive of Le Vision Pictures, believes.The Great Wall will see the start of a trend - Chinese blockbusters becoming popular worldwide.
"The movie industry has reached the stage of globalisation," he says. "While we are making movies like Expendables, putting money into co-producing movies with Hollywood studios, those movies are still developed by them; meanwhile, we need to develop movies that allow them to work with us."
Zhang explains that The Great Wall is the perfect Chinese production for a mainstream global audience. They made the movie mostly in English because cinema-goers don't like reading subtitles. He enthuses that if you combine blockbuster-style visuals, with a big cast of Hollywood and Chinese stars, and a story that is about a global landmark, you have a hit.