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Hollywood has spent the last years working to make a big blockbuster about the incredible monument known as the Great Wall of China - the project simply titled The Great Wall - and today the movie finally took a major step forward. This is because the Zhang Yimou-directed film has announced its full cast, which is headed up by Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe and Game of Thrones' Pedro Pascal.
Legendary Pictures officially announced the new cast for the film via press release, though it seems for now that they are trying to keep most details about The Great Wall's plot a secret. As it stands, the only description of the story that is provided says that it will be about "an elite force making a last stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure." Sadly, there's also no mention of what genre the movie will fall into, so it's hard to say if this will be more of a historical drama or a fantasy action movie.
The structure of the press release suggests that Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe and Pedro Pascal will be playing the three leads of the movie, but it's also revealed that some of China's biggest stars will also be a part of The Great Wall's ensemble. This list includes Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs, House of Flying Daggers), Jing Tian (New Police Story), Zhang Hanyu (Taking Tiger Mountain), Eddie Peng (Fleet of Time), Lu Han (a member of the Korean pop band EXO), Lin Gengxin (Taking Tiger Mountain), Zheng Kai (Fleet of Time), Chen Xuedong (Tiny Times), Huang Xuan (The Golden Era), Wang Junkai (a member of the pop group TF Boys), and newcomers Yu Xintian and Liu Qiong.
This blockbuster should be an interesting event, if not only because of where the movie sits historically in terms of the growing relationship between Hollywood and China. Legendary notes that The Great Wall will be "the largest film ever shot entirely in China for global distribution."And with Universal Pictures set to distribute the 3D film on November 23, 2016, that means that production on the movie should start up in the next few months.
It seems that both Willem Dafoe and Pedro Pascal have cleared their upcoming schedule in advance of the project, with the former having recently completed work on the drama My Hindu Friend, and the latter finishing the comedy/horror Bloodsucking Bastards and the more somber Sweets, but it will be interesting to see how it will work into Matt Damon's upcoming slate. The A-lister is currently working on Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller The Martian, but is also supposed to star in the untitled Bourne 5 (which has a Universal Pictures release date about four months earlier than The Great Wall). We definitely expect to hear more updates in the coming weeks.