September 21, 2014
Matt Damon Might Lead Legendary's China-Set THE GREAT WALL
We recently heard that Universal was finally putting together deals that would see Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass make another Bourne film. Another bit of possible news coming Deadline, is that Damon is being eyed for the lead in Legendary Pictures (now with Universal) supernatural China-set The Great Wall. The film has legendary (fitting I know) Chinese director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Curse of The Golden Flowers, Flowers of War) and has been looking for a lead for some time now.
They also mention that Damon is very interested in working with Yimou, since he was in talks to take the lead in Flowers of War. That role would go to Christian Bale instead. The only problem is that shooting Ridley Scott's The Martian, and this upcoming Bourne installment, could conflict with Great Wall's production.
Before Zhang signed-on, actors such as Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, The Man From UNCLE, Batman v Superman) and Benjamin Walker (Vampire Hunter) were attached for it. Ed Zwick (Last Samurai, Defiance, Blood Diamond, The Siege) was previously set as it's director, but will instead take a producer's credit.
The plot has been sort of kept a secret, but it would reveal the "true" reasons behind the wall's construction. I assume it could be monsters or demons, since China has a rich history of folklore. Let's just hope this turns out a bit better than Universal's disastrous re-imagining of The 47 Ronin. We know that the market in China for films is going to dwarf North America, so studios having their blockbusters set there is just smart. Chinese films have come along way in the last two decades, and usually are superior to what Hollywood has been grinding-out. I'm excited to see what a visionary like Yimou can do with Legendary handling it's production.