Zhang Yimou confirms Great Wall plans

Zhang Yimou confirms Great Wall plans

By Kevin Ma

Thu, 12 June 2014, 09:40 AM (HKT)

Production News

Director ZHANG Yimou 張藝謀 confirmed yesterday that his next project will be The Great Wall 長城, a US-China co-production.

The announcement came during a forum at the Beijing Film Academy 北京電影學院 featuring Zhang and Godzilla (2014) director Gareth EDWARDS. Both films are Legendary Pictures LLC productions.

Sitting in front of a conceptual poster for the film, Zhang gave little details about the film, but did reveal that it will be a big-budget co-production with mostly foreign actors. All the dialogue will be in English.

When asked why he accepted the project, Zhang said, "Firstly, the scale of the production is huge, so it'll be fun. Also, it's because this is a new genre of film that is driven by Chinese elements. It's groundbreaking." Zhang added that this is the first time in his 30-year career to tackle this type of film.

Based on a story co-written by Legendary's chairman and CEO Thomas TULL, the fantasy epic re-imagines the origins of the Great Wall of China. The film was first announced in Aug 2011 as the first project for Legendary East Ltd 傳奇東方, the Chinese branch of the Hollywood production company, but

Edward ZWICK dropped out as director the following year. Zhang was rumoured to be in talks to replace Zwick in March. Today's unveiling of the poster is the first official confirmation of Zhang's involvement.

Zhang said that his intention for the film – which will be mostly shot in China – is to express Chinese culture in simple terms to younger foreign audiences. "This is not a small-scale film made to win awards at film festivals," Zhang said, "We need to explore and express Chinese culture in deep but simple ways to get through to the young audience. You can't expect too much."

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