New information about the upcoming movie “The Great Wall,” which stars Matt Damon, Hong Kong star Andy Lau, Chinese actress Jing Tian, and Willem Dafoe, has been released, as importance continues to be placed on a film’s international performance.
A new trailer shows some kind of battle sequence taking place on the Wall and Mr. Damon in armor and carrying arrows, among other images, shedding light on the film's story.
“Wall,” which will be released this coming February in the United States and is directed by Zhang Yimou of the 2014 movie “Coming Home,” is a collaboration between Legendary Entertainment (an American studio which was purchased by China’s Dalian Wanda Group Co. earlier this year), China Film Group, and Le Vision Pictures, a Chinese company.
Director Zhang said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the movie has many features of familiar Hollywood movies but that it includes elements of Chinese culture with which American audiences might not be familiar.
“First and foremost, this is an English-language film, and a Hollywood blockbuster," Zhang said. "It was already very clear in the script phase. This is a Hollywood monster movie and needs to be made in that style. I don’t want to change that approach, and there’s no need to do that. What I really want is to bring Chinese color and cultural background to the worldwide audience through a film language that they are familiar with.”
Le Vision chief executive officer Zhang Zhao said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that in collaborating on “Wall,” he wanted to show that Hollywood and China teaming up is the future.
“China also has a very deep cultural heritage, with myths and classic stories that haven't been visualized and shared with the world yet,” Mr. Zhang said. “Hollywood is the strongest center of movie production. So, if we work together, we can really enhance the cinematic experience for everyone.”
International box office performance is being watched carefully by industry insiders these days. American blockbusters, such as this spring’s “Captain America: Civil War,” often open in other countries days before they arrive in the US. And international grosses could even change a film's future. While the American box office for the 2013 film “Pacific Rim” was not viewed as a home run, a sequel to the movie starring John Boyega is now moving forward. Many are crediting the movie’s international box office statistics as making that possible.
Following “Pacific” scoring the largest-ever movie opening in China for studio Warner Bros., Deadline writer Nikki Finke wrote, “I’ve just learned that momentum is building for a ‘Pacific Rim’ sequel based on the international box office for the Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros summer tentpole.”