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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures' "THE GREAT WALL" In Theaters Feb. 17

Between courage and fear.  Between monsters and men.  A wall stands that must never fall. 

Academy Award® winner MATT DAMON (The Martian, The Bourne franchise) leads humanity’s greatest fight for survival in The Great Wall, from Legendary and Universal Pictures. 

When a mercenary warrior (Damon) is imprisoned within The Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of our world.   As wave after wave of marauding beasts, intent on devouring the world, besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront this unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force.

Directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, ZHANG YIMOU (Raise the Red Lantern, Hero, House of Flying Daggers), the action-fantasy marks his first English-language production and the largest film ever shot entirely in China.  To create The Great Wall, Yimou has assembled a formidable cast and filmmaking team that represents the best of East and West in a unique global production that delivers unmissable spectacle on the grandest scale.   

The thrilling adventure comes from an original screenplay by the writing duo CARLO BERNARD & DOUG MIRO (Prince of Persia, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) and TONY GILROY (Michael Clayton, The Bourne Legacy).  It is based on a story by MAX BROOKS (World War Z) and EDWARD ZWICK & MARSHALL HERSKOVITZ (The Last Samurai, Love & Other Drugs).  The film is produced by Legendary CEO THOMAS TULL (Godzilla, Jurassic World), CHARLES ROVEN (American Hustle, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy), JON JASHNI (Pacific Rim, Warcraft) and Legendary East CEO PETER LOEHR (Shower, The Children of Huangshi).  

The quartet guided the production along with executive producers including Legendary’s JILLIAN SHARE (Pacific Rim, Warcraft), longtime Roven associate ALEX GARTNER (Warcraft, Get Smart), E. BENNETT WALSH (The Kite Runner, Kill Bill series), LA PEIKANG (Warcraft) and ZHANG ZHAO (Paths of the Soul).  Co-producers on the project are veteran Chinese filmmaker ZHANG “ER YONG” WANG (The Children of Huangshi, The Postmodern Life of My Aunt), ERIC HEDAYAT (Date Night) and ALEX HEDLUND (As Above, So Below).   

In The Great Wall, Damon stars as William Garin, a battle-scarred mercenary and master archer taken captive by a secret army of elite warriors known as The Nameless Order.  In a vast military outpost called the Fortress City, they fight to protect humanity from supernatural forces upon one of the greatest defensive structures ever built: The Great Wall. 

On his journey, Garin is joined by PEDRO PASCAL (Netflix’s Narcos, HBO’s Game of Thrones) as his sword-wielding sidekick, Pero Tovar, a tough, wise-cracking Spaniard who has become a brother-in-arms to William; and two-time Oscar®-nominee WILLEM DAFOE (Platoon, Shadow of the Vampire, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Ballard, a shadowy prisoner inside the fortress who plans his escape from his longtime captors while hoping to pilfer their greatest weapon during his getaway.
Toplining the production’s esteemed, superstar Chinese cast are a widely celebrated Asian industry veteran and one of its rising new stars.  The renowned Hong Kong actor ANDY LAU (House of Flying Daggers, Running Out of Time, Infernal Affairs) reunites with director Zhang as Strategist Wang, the sage alchemist inside the fortress…whose clever inventions help its inhabitants keep the monstrous forces at bay. 

He is joined by breakout actress JING TIAN (Special ID, Police Story 2013, The Man from Macau) as Lin Mae, the fearless fighter and leader of the fortress’ balletic, gravity-defying aerial warriors, the allfemale Crane Corps.  In turn, she ultimately rises to command the outpost’s entire military faction, The Nameless Order, against the creature attacks.

The film also features a supporting cast of seasoned Chinese talent that includes veteran actor HANYU ZHANG (Assembly, The Taking of Tiger Mountain) as General Shao, the patriarch who passes his command of the fortress’ troops to Lin Mae; LIN GENGXIN (Bubu jingxin, The Taking of Tiger Mountain) as Commander Chen, the leader of the Eagle Corps, the crossbow marksmen who skillfully brandish the weapon with deadly accuracy; EDDIE PENG YU-YEN (Jump Ashin!, Rise of the Legend) as Commander Wu, who leads the Tiger Corps, the fortress’ engineering and artillery forces, against the supernatural enemy; XUAN HUANG (Breaking the Waves, The Golden Era) as Commander Deng, leader of the fortress’ cavalry, the Deer Corps; ZHENG KAI (China’s TV hit Running Man) as Shen, Strategist Wang’s imperial liaison whose political agenda conflicts with The Nameless Order’s mission; and CHEN XUEDONG (the Tiny Times 1.0 trilogy) as one of the fortress’ Imperial Guards who will readily sacrifice himself to save the empire’s royalty. 

The Great Wall also welcomes to its cast a pair of China’s pop-music sensations—LU HAN (the band EXO) as Peng Yong, a soldier struggling under the command of the Bear Corps’ Gen. Shao who must overcome his fear and prove himself heroic during the creature onslaught; and JUNKAI WANG (frontman for China’s TFBOYS), who makes his professional acting debut as The Emperor, the 17-year-old royal ruler tested before his time. 

They are joined by a pair of young Chinese actresses who portray lieutenants in Lin Mae’s Crane Corps—YU XINTIAN (Death Is Here 3 & 4) and LIU QIONG, a student at Beijing’s Central Academy of Drama who, like Junkai Wang, makes her professional acting debut in the film.  

For the epic fantasy-adventure, Zhang has assembled a topnotch technical team behind the cameras.  This includes two-time Academy Award®winning production designer JOHN MYHRE (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha);costume designer MAYES C. RUBEO (Warcraft, Avatar); editors MARY JO MARKEY (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek) and CRAIG D. WOOD (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Rango); and cinematographers STUART DRYBURGH (The Piano, Once Were Warriors, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) and ZHAO XIAODING (his 10th collaboration with ZHANG YIMOU, one that began with House of Flying Daggers), who utilized for the first time the Aeroflex Alexa 65 camera, capturing the fantasy in grand 6K resolution while bringing a new level of visual fidelity to the big screen. 

Joining this team are five-time Oscar® winner RICHARD TAYLOR (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), whose WETA Workshop designed the film’s vast arsenal of weaponry; and visual effects supervisor PHIL BRENNAN (Snow White and the Huntsmen, The Wolverine), who teams up with ILM Far East VFX supervisor SAMIR HOON (Star Trek Into Darkness, Hitman Agent 47) to create the story’s predatory Tao Tei creatures. 

Collectively, the film’s cast and technical crew celebrate 25 Academy Awards® with 43 additional nominations.  The Great Wall filmed entirely on location in China, the largest Hollywood co-production ever mounted in the world’s fourth-largest country.  With the exception of China, Universal Pictures will distribute the film globally.  China Film Co., Ltd, along with Le Vision Pictures, Legendary East and Wuzhou Distribution will oversee the Chinese release.

Release date: February 17, 2017

Genre: 3D Action-Thriller

Cast: Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Hanyu Zhang, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Kenny Lin, Junkai Wang, Zheng Kai, Cheney Chen, Xuan Huang and Andy Lau
Directed by: Zhang Yimou

Story by: Max Brooks and Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz

Screenplay by: Carlo Bernard & Doug Miro and Tony Gilroy

Produced by: Thomas Tull, Charles Roven, Jon Jashni, Peter Loehr

Executive Producers: Jillian Share, Alex Gartner, La Peikang, Zhang Zhao, E. Bennett Walsh

Co-Producers: Eric Hedayat, Er Young, Alex Hedlund

Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary's The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world's most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.

The film will be released in 3D by Universal Pictures.


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