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.
Matt Damon looks strikingly different as he debuts luscious ponytail at The Great Wall press conference in Beijing