The first trailer for the action/fantasy film "The Great Wall" was released Thursday, featuring Matt Damon and allegedly ancient Chinese monsters.
Directed by the award-winning filmmaker Zhang Yimou, in his first English-language film, "The Great Wall" stars Damon and features a cast that includes "Game of Thrones" actor Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, and Chinese superstars Andy Lau, Jing Tian, and former EXO pop group member Luhan. The film was shot entirely in China and is reported to be the most expensive Chinese movie in history.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly translated into English, Zhang noted that "first and foremost, this is an English-language film, and a Hollywood blockbuster." He added that the script "was written by American screenwriters. So the story is really told from an American's perspective."
"When I came onboard, I wanted to make sure everything Chinese in this film feels genuine," Zhang said.
Zhang praised the cross-cultural elements expressed in the production of the film, calling it "synergistic filmmaking" and recalling a Chinese saying that translates to "use the water to move the boat."
"In this case, we are using Hollywood filmmaking to introduce Chinese culture," Zhang said.
Specific details regarding the plot, characters, and Damon's role have not yet been released, but it has been described as a monster movie, combining the elements of "a period piece and an action film."
But Zhang said, with exception to the monsters that appear as a reason the Great Wall was built, he wanted the film to be as realistic as possible, saying that "all aspects of this film are backed by either scientific or historical research."
"The Great Wall" starring Matt Damon is expected to be released in China in December, and in the U.S. in February 2017.