Director Zhang Yimou‘s (House of Flying Daggers, Hero) The Great Wall is the most expensive movie made in China’s film industry’s history. The estimated $135 million dollar budget includes a mixture of well-known western and Chinese actors. Starring Matt Damon (The Martian), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones), Willem Dafoe (Platoon), Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs), pop singing icon Luhan, and actress Jing Tian (Kong: Skull Island), we’re sure to see some incredible action scenes. The movie answers the question, What were they trying to keep out?
Director Zhang Yimou had this to say about the movie’s setting:
The film takes place about 1,000 years ago. At its core, it is a period piece and an action film. The fantasy element does play a major role because of the monsters. But, what makes our film unique is that these are ancient Chinese monsters. Even though it’s a fantasy movie, we filmed it in a very realistic way. We want it to feel like the events actually happened. Other than the monster, all aspects of this film are backed by either scientific or historical research.
Check out the trailer below:
The Great Wall is set to hit theater screens February 17th, 2017, which is usually a slow month for movies. Yimou’s interview with Entertainment Weekly shed some interesting light on the differences between Chinese and Hollywood’s approach to movie making.
The biggest difficulty is the limited amount of time. In China, when I make a film of this scale, I would have five to five-and-a-half months. This time, we only had four-and-a-half months. And of course, we also had to take the weekends off. In China we wouldn’t do that. Of course, we do take breaks on Chinese films, but not this much. As for which specific sequence is the most difficult — I think filmmaking is the same throughout the world. If you want to do something great, nothing is easy.
When asked about the pressures of making The Great Wall Yimou said:
Fortunately, I directed the 2008 Olympic Ceremonies. Perhaps there’s nothing grander than that. So the size of a production doesn’t make a difference to me. I didn’t feel any pressure. But there are major difference between Eastern and Western culture. And this is reflected in every little detail in our work.
Yimou described his working relationship with the western actors:
I am very fortunate to work with Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, and Willem Dafoe on this project. They are wonderful actors and helped me tremendously. Especially Matt, who won an Oscar for screenwriting at such a young age — he is very creative and smart and contributed so much to the dialog. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all three actors.
The Great Wall looks very action packed and engaging, the merger of two movie making styles will be interesting to see on the big screen.
Via: Entertainment Weekly